Guide to Festival Season in Louisiana

organizing your plan, sticking to budget, Footwear & more

Festival season is here!  This month on any given weekend in Louisiana, you can take your pick from every kind of festival under the sun.  If you’ve been out recently for French Quarter Festival or Deanie’s Pinch A Palooza Festival, or have plans to head out to Festival International de Louisiane or New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, you know that having a well thought-out plan is key.  

We’ll help you make the most of your experience from New Orleans to Natchitoches!

Photo Courtesy The New Orleans Advocate


Nobody’s asking you to stick to a typed up, laminated checklist here, but it’s helpful if you have at least a mental list of what you want to experience each day.  

Whether you’d like to see a friend who is camped out at a specific location, pick up some boiled crawfish, or watch your favorite local band close out the stage… everybody has their “can’t miss” list. Check out the lineup before you go, organize your plan for each day, and then enjoy!


Whether it’s a new touring act that you’ve been wanting to check out, a new food booth, or that arts and crafts section that you’ve never really explored, now is the time to get out there!  Festivals in Louisiana are all about embracing the local heritage, and you should take full advantage while you’re there.


It’s easy to spend a ton of money at a festival if you don’t plan accordingly.  Some festivals take cash at their vendors, others require that you purchase tickets in order to buy food or drinks.  Bringing cash is probably the best bet.  Not only will you be prepared if the booths only accept cash, but you’ll also be able to decide what allotment of funds you want to dedicate to any specific day.


Photo Courtesy Eater New Orleans

Consider making a “wish list” of foods you’d like to try, separated by area.  

Most festivals provide a list of the menu items on their websites, or you can try searching for the top choices at any given festival.  

Think about which food booths are near the stages you plan to visit, and plan accordingly.  Something to keep in mind when you’re trying new types of food items and especially drink—Don’t overdo it! Remember, unless    you’re sitting down at a bar or restaurant, the only bathrooms available are portalets.


You’re probably going to be walking and standing for long periods of time, not to mention either the walk to and from your car (if you were lucky enough to find parking nearby), or the bike ride back home or wherever you’re staying.  The key to enjoying any festival is to stay comfortably dressed, especially with footwear choices.


Don’t count on being able to find a shady spot…those are hard to come by!  Minutes go by quickly in festival time and before you know it, you’ll be feeling that familiar burn on your face and shoulders.  Even if it’s cloudy out, New Orleans’ subtropical sun is bound to get you. Do yourself a favor and apply sunscreen before you leave for the festival.  And if you’ve been there for longer than a few hours, don’t forget to re-apply.


This may seem like common sense, but it’s so important to stay hydrated when you’re at an outdoor festival.  Before you indulge in another Fried Oyster po-boy or strawberry daiquiri, consider taking a breather and drinking some water or iced tea.  The New Olreans Jazz & Heritage Festival allows factory-sealed bottled water to be brought in to the festival grounds (but not beer or soda). You’ve got a long day ahead of you, and you’ll want to stay in top-top Festival shape.

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