This year's New Orleans Jazz&Heritage Festival has been cancelled, leaving many fans and performers disappointed. The festival, which was scheduled to take place in October, is known for its wide range of musical talent and genres, such as zydeco, gospel, blues and jazz. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be returning this year. Willie Nelson was set to perform at the festival but had to cancel due to a positive case of coronavirus in his band.
My father, Dwight Miller, co-founder of the Original Pinstripes Brass Band, was set to perform for the first time at the festival with the Doc Paulin Brass Band. I have attended the festival every year of my life and was looking forward to this year's event. Organizers of the festival have announced that their next festivals will require proof of vaccination in order to enter. This is a necessary step in order to ensure the safety of all attendees.
Allison Miner and Quint Davis were among the first to attend the New Orleans Jazz&Heritage Festival in Congo Square in 1971. The cancellation of this year's festival has caused a stir in a wide network of people who rely on it for most of their annual revenues. From hundreds of musicians and culture carriers to the squads of artists and food stall operators, to the vast team of stage builders and supporting workers who create the vast area of delights at the Jazz Fest - everyone is affected by this cancellation. When the festival announced that it had booked The Rolling Stones for a unique mid-week show, it seemed like a sure sign that organizers thought they could do it safely with proper protocols in place. However, with COVID-19 cases on the rise in Louisiana, it was ultimately decided that it would be best to cancel this year's event.
The promise of the return of the Jazz-Fest this fall was a bright beacon of hope for musicians, festival workers and fans alike. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, this hope has been extinguished for now. We can only hope that next year's event will be able to take place as planned.