Navigating the Crowds at the New Orleans Jazz Festival

It's no secret that the New Orleans Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events in the city. Every year, tens of thousands of people flock to the Fair Grounds Race Course to experience the incredible lineup of musical acts, art and craft exhibitions, and a variety of food booths. But with such a large crowd, it can be difficult to navigate the festival and make the most of your experience. If you're coming from out of town, you may have a different set of priorities than locals.

While you can see big-name acts anywhere, this is your best chance to experience Louisiana music in its homeland. Additionally, smaller local acts often occupy less crowded stages, giving you a break from the hustle and bustle. Don't forget that during the “days off” between the two weekends of the festival, many small and medium-sized artists will play concerts around the city. Frenchmen Street is a great place to check out these performances if you miss them at the festival. Tickets for the JazzFest are available for purchase on the JazzFest site a few months before the event, or at the gates of any day of the festival.

Prices have been steadily increasing over the years, but you can still find some Grade A headliners for a bargain price compared to similar (or even smaller) festivals. If you're planning on bringing a bike to the festival, keep in mind that bike rentals will fill up quickly as the date approaches. For more information on how to bring a bike to JazzFest, head here. Whether you're visiting New Orleans for the first time or you're an expert at JazzFest, there are plenty of ways to make sure you get the most out of your experience. With 14 different stages, plus marquees, meals and vendors exclusive to JazzFest and a legendary lineup of musicians, performers and artists, there's something for everyone at this incredible event.