The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (lovingly known as simply Jazz Fest) is only two months away (April 22 – May 1), so if you’re planning to attend this year, you’d do well to start planning now. It’s the sooner the better when it comes to getting prepared for New Orleans’ biggest music festival of the year, when the city comes alive in a way that’s rivaled only by Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest’s cousin French Quarter Fest, which takes place earlier that month.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when you start planning your Jazz Fest trip this year.
Book Your Flight and Hotels ASAP
Like Mardi Gras and French Quarter Fest, reservations for flights and hotels disappear quickly, and prices also rise higher and higher the closer you get to the Fest. Booking your travel accommodations now is key to securing your stay and keeping some money in your pocket. If you want to stay in one of New Orleans’ exquisite French Quarter hotels, Hotel Provincial still has accommodations available, but you should book fast, as these rooms won't be around long. Though Jazz Fest happens elsewhere in the city, when the Fest winds down, the Quarter is where much of the action happens.
Make Your Dining Reservations Now
You may think you can wait until a week or two before the Fest to book your favorite restaurants, but chances are they’ve been booked up for weeks by that point. It’s best to make your dining plan based on what areas of the city you’ll be in each day and night and then start calling around to claim those reservations now. The bigger the restaurant, the more essential it is to book early, but even many of the smaller and up-and-coming restaurants will fill their tables long before the Fest begins, so get going on deciding what you want to eat and where while you’re here in April/May.
Start Researching Other Music Venues
If you’re looking for a full-blown New Orleans music experience, you’ll want to start mapping out the venues you think will have lineups that appeal to your tastes. The weekends of Jazz Fest are some of the best of the year for live music in New Orleans, with both local and visiting musicians collaborating on incredible shows you’ll only find once a year, if not once a decade. Hotel Provincial is just a few blocks from Marigny, where the best music and plenty of stars can be found each night. It’s likely too early to plan the exact shows you’ll want to go to, since most venues don’t have those lineups nailed down yet (though you can find some). But, you can take a look at different venues’ lineups from last year and their current year-round lineups to get an idea of the music styles they’ll showcase. Then you’ll have your venue list ready for when the lineup announcements for those weekends start trickling out.
It’s never too early to start planning your Jazz Fest trip to New Orleans—if for nothing else than to get you pumped up for all-day, all-night music, food, and fun. Call Hotel Provincial today to get started on booking your accommodations right away.