The birthplace of jazz and thus some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians—from Louis Armstrong to Ellis Marsalis Jr.—New Orleans welcomed the return of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to the New Orleans Fair Grounds this spring.
“When Jazz Fest began more than 50 years ago, it quickly gave not only local jazz musicians a stage, but it also became a place to showcase other rich musical talents from across Louisiana,” says Stephanie Turner, senior vice president of convention sales and strategies for New Orleans & Co., the city’s convention and visitors bureau. “New Orleans has always basked in its musical heritage, and Jazz Fest now gives visitors from around the world the same opportunity.”
The annual event has something for every type of music lover—and this year’s lineup featured Dead & Company, Mumford & Sons, Leon Bridges, and many more. The festival also showcased dozens of food vendors and the city’s cultural heritage.
The fairgrounds sit in the heart of The Big Easy—which boasts nearly 26,000 hotel rooms—and is alongside the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with over 1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space. Just two blocks from the convention center are sites for groups to explore the catalog of activities the city has to offer, including the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which is undergoing a $34 million renovation to add 17,000 square feet of event space, the Butterfly Room, and the Insectarium.
“Cultural attractions such as Vue Orleans Observation Deck atop the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, Jamnola and a $400 million expansion of The National World War II Museum provide more offerings to attendees looking for a meaningful experience outside of the meeting room,” Turner says. “Cultural richness, unmatched cuisine, and world-class live entertainment aside, … [you can] expect dedicated, seasoned hospitality professionals [in New Orleans].”