With Jazz Fest canceled, NOLAxNOLA, other music events keep festival spirit alive

Even though the first-ever October Jazz Fest won’t happen, New Orleans is still overflowing with music thanks to several citywide events hoping to fill the void.

From NOLAxNOLA to Jazz Festing in Place, music lovers can still get a festival-like experience even without a trip to the Fair Grounds.

Here’s a list of music events happening in the city starting this weekend.

(Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)


Oct. 7 – 17

NOLAxNOLA launches, during what would have been Jazz Fest, in an effort to fill the void of the canceled music events.

The 10-day event features more than 170 live performances at venues that will follow strict COVID-19 protocols.

Dozens of music venues and other partners have jumped on board with shows including Tipitina’s, Blue Nile, d.b.a., Howlin’ Wolf and Preservation Hall.

“I’m very anxious to get started because it’s been a while, and I miss my audiences!” New Orleans music legend Irma Thomas said. “So this is gonna give me an opportunity to be with my audience again.”

A coalition of events and musicians teamed up to create this initiative after Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest were canceled. See the complete slate of performances at the website.

Jazz Festing in Place

Oct. 7 – 10 & Oct. 14 – 17

WWOZ’s Jazz Festing in Place returns for act three as a virtual alternative to the canceled festival.

The local radio station released the cubes for a replay of some of the fest’s historic sets from Oct. 7-10 and Oct. 14 -17.

Similar to previous broadcasts, WWOZ will play a slate of archived Jazz Fest performances.

For this edition, more than 120 classic performances will air including rare sets from Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Richie Havens, BB King, Lyle Lovett, John Lee Hooker, Santana, the Dave Matthews Band, the Band, Van Morrison, John Mayer, Joe Cocker, Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Al Hirt and others.

In addition to the music, the broadcast will include interview segments highlighting the food, crafts, and heritage of New Orleans and Louisiana. You can also find recipes for some of your favorite Jazz Fest cuisine and connect with favorite local festival food and craft vendors online.

Listen worldwide, free, at wwoz.org, or locally at 90.7 FM.

Shorty Fest 2021

Oct. 11

Each year during Jazz Fest, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews closes out the final Sunday on the Acura Stage, in addition to hosting his annual “Treme Threauxdown” at the Saenger Theatre.

Both of those events are canceled, but Shorty Fest 2021 will go on as planned at Tipitina’s on Oct. 11.

Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue will play the Tipitina’s stage for the first time since 2015 as part of a benefit show.

“We look forward to providing a safe space for our friends, family and supporters to come together and celebrate music, a part of our community that has truly been missed during these hard times,” Andrews said. “We’re here to keep the music alive, but with safety as our top priority. Whether celebrating in person or streaming online, we want to provide a safe space for everyone to enjoy what makes this city so special.”

The bill features Andrews and his band, Galactic, The Soul Rebels, special guests Tarriona “Tank” Ball and Big Chief Juan Pardo, and Cuban performer Cimafunk, who has been described as the Bruno Mars of his native country.

The show quickly sold out, but you can watch the show virtually if you don’t have a ticket. Shorty Fest will be live-streamed via tromboneshortyfoundation.org.

Festin’ at Faubourg

Oct. 8 – 10 and Oct. 15 – 17

Even though you can’t venture to the Fair Grounds, Faubourg Brewery turns its outdoor grounds into a festival-like event. Festin’ at Faubourg takes place over the next two weekends from Oct. 8 to Oct. 10 and Oct. 15 to Oct. 17.

The first weekend of the series features performances from Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Walter Wolfman Washington and the Roadmasters, Tony Hall & Friends and Soul Rebels.

As part of the festivities, a Saints watch party will also take place on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Admission is free and open to all ages, and the brewery is dog-friendly. Craft beer and food will be available for purchase. The brewery is also running free shuttle service from Brieux Carre Brewing Company.

For more information, visit the Faubourg Brewery website.

Bluesberry Festival

Oct. 9

One Northshore music festival will still go on as planned. The second annual Bluesberry Festival returns to downtown Covington at Bogue Falaya Park on Oct. 9.

Grammy-nominated artist Cedric Burnside, a Mississippi native well known for his Hill Country blues style, headlines the festival.

The music lineup also includes Band of Heathens, Eric Johanson, Ally Venable Band, Johnny Hayes, Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces and JL Fulks.

In addition to a diverse music lineup, the festival features live art demonstrations, art vendors, a kids village and food trucks. The Bluesberry Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

General admission to the festival is $25, and free for children ages 10 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Bluesberry Festival website.

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