Last weekend marked the 31st annual French Quarter Festival, with a record-breaking 733,000 attendees. It’s a free four-day festival (Thursday-Sunday) based, you guessed it, in the French Quarter, celebrating the joys of local food and music.
The Quarter is filled with the scent of spices from the many crawfish boils and BBQs at regular intervals, the streets are sticky with beer spilled during excited dance steps, and the energy of the atmosphere is almost as loud as the brass bands booming on each corner.
There are about 21 regulated and scheduled stages dotted around the Quarter, but there are also the usual street players drawing large crowds. We were fortunate enough to stumble across an impromptu performance as a member of the audience decided to sing along to a familiar tune. The amount and level of talent in this city really blows you away. A part of you cant help but wonder why these people aren’t on a stage or busy touring the country, but the rest of you gets carried away dancing and singing along.
Unfortunately I was only able to attend the Saturday festivities, but I did not fall short on highlights. The Dixie Cups performed on one of the main stages, and I got to dance along to some memorable tunes with my boss which was unforgettable. You may remember them for “Going to the Chapel and we’re going to get married, going to the Chapel of Love…” They also did a brilliant rendition of “My Guy”:
“There’s not a man today who could take me away from my guy”
“What about Denzel Washington?”
“There might be man today who could take me away from my guy”
I also really enjoyed getting to hear Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes on recommendation of a friend. I shall be looking out for them in future local gigs. And of course my beloved Glen David Andrews who, as always, had a large crowd in the palm of his hand.