Music Festivals Jan-March

As we embark on a new year, music lovers in Louisiana are eagerly anticipating the upcoming festival season. From January to March 2024, the state will be buzzing with a variety of music festivals that will cater to every genre and taste. From jazz to blues, from country to electronic, Louisiana has something for everyone. So grab your dancing shoes, put on your festival gear, and get ready to experience the magic of live music at these top festivals in the Pelican State.

January kicks off with a bang as the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place from January 5th to 15th. This iconic festival, often referred to as Jazz Fest, is a celebration of the rich musical history of New Orleans. For over 50 years, Jazz Fest has brought together some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, and R&B, as well as up-and-coming artists, on multiple stages. This year’s lineup is expected to be even bigger and better, with headliners such as Trombone Shorty, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick Jr. Jazz Fest is not just about music, it’s also a celebration of Louisiana’s unique culture, with local food, crafts, and art vendors adding to the festive atmosphere.

Next up is the French Quarter Festival, held in the heart of New Orleans from January 26th to 29th. This four-day event showcases the best of Louisiana’s local music, food, and culture. With over 20 stages scattered throughout the historic French Quarter, attendees can groove to the sounds of Cajun, zydeco, and brass bands while indulging in delicious Creole cuisine. The festival is free to attend and attracts over half a million visitors each year, making it one of the largest free music festivals in the country. This year’s lineup includes performances by local favorites such as Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Dr. John.

As February approaches, the city of Lafayette gears up for the annual Festival International de Louisiane. This five-day event, held from February 23rd to 27th, celebrates the vibrant French heritage of Louisiana. The streets of downtown Lafayette come alive with music, dance, and art from around the world, with a special focus on French-speaking countries. Festival goers can expect a diverse lineup of artists, from traditional Cajun and zydeco bands to international acts such as Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara and Venezuelan electro-folk duo Los Amigos Invisibles. With over 300,000 attendees each year, Festival International is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the cultural melting pot that is Louisiana.

For country music fans, the Bayou Country Superfest is a can’t-miss event. This outdoor festival, held in Baton Rouge from March 8th to 11th, brings together the biggest names in country music for a weekend of non-stop fun. Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Stapleton are just a few of the headliners gracing the stage this year. With its prime location in the heart of Louisiana, Bayou Country Superfest attracts fans from all over the state and beyond. And with a variety of food and drink options, as well as activities like line dancing and a Ferris wheel, this festival is more than just a concert, it’s an experience.

March also marks the return of the Buku Music + Art Project in New Orleans. This two-day festival, held on March 22nd and 23rd, is a fusion of music, art, and culture, and has become a must-attend event for music lovers in Louisiana. The lineup features a mix of electronic, hip-hop, and indie artists, with headliners including Flume, Tyler, the Creator, and Janelle Monáe. But what sets Buku apart from other music festivals is its commitment to showcasing the work of local and international artists. Attendees can explore interactive art installations and murals throughout the festival grounds, making it a truly immersive experience.

While New Orleans may be known as the music capital of Louisiana, the city of Lafayette is not far behind. The Festival Acadiens et Créoles, held from March 29th to 31st, celebrates the French, Cajun, and Creole heritage of the region. This free festival features traditional music, dance, and food, with a focus on preserving and promoting the unique culture of Acadiana. Attendees can enjoy performances by Grammy-nominated Cajun band BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Grammy-winning zydeco artist Chubby Carrier, as well as sample delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine from local vendors.

The final weekend of March brings us to the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, held in the charming town of Natchitoches. This two-day festival, taking place on March 30th and 31st, is a celebration of Louisiana’s jazz and R&B heritage. Attendees can enjoy performances by both local and national acts, including Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, Mike Phillips, and R&B singer-songwriter, Ledisi. With its picturesque location on the banks of the Cane River Lake, this festival offers a unique setting to experience live music.

It’s safe to say that Louisiana’s music festival scene is alive and booming. What started as a way to celebrate the unique culture and heritage of the state has now turned into a major attraction, drawing in visitors from all over the world. These festivals not only showcase the diverse musical talent that Louisiana has to offer but also highlight the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. So mark your calendars, book your tickets, and get ready to experience the magic of Louisiana’s music festivals from January to March 2024.