Austin has SXSW. Chicago has Lollapalooza. In New Orleans, we have Voodoo Fest. This year marks the 20th year of the self-proclaimed “musical gumbo,” a festival featuring music, art, community, and cuisine: everything that makes New Orleans, New Orleans. And of course, it being Halloween weekend, a little spookiness thrown in for good measure makes the festival all the more quintessential NOLA. This year’s festival is October 26th-28th at the City Park Festival Grounds.
This year, the three days of Voodoo will feature 65 bands from all genres on multiple stages. Headlining are Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino, and the Arctic Monkeys. Just a few of the other musicians who will perform are Odesza, Martin Garrix, A Perfect Circle, Modest Mouse, Janelle Monáe, and AWOLNATION. It doesn’t get much more Halloween than Marilyn Manson, who is returning to perform this year. Also returning is band Third Eye Blind, who headlined the first Voodoo Fest in 1999! The full list of artists is available on the Voodoo website.
Voodoo’s not just about the music, it’s also an arts experience featuring installations of all kinds by respected artists from all over the world. Walk through the festival grounds between sets to admire their interactive creations, and as the fest describes, “worship the arts.” You can also head over to the Market Place to buy one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces by local and visiting artisans. Jewelry, costumes, home accents, illustrations, metalwork: there’s a little bit of something for everyone.
New Orleanians know we have the best food in the world, and no New Orleans festival would be complete without impeccable cuisine. In fact, the festival kicks off a day early (Thursday, October 25th) with Feast Under the Stars, a 5-course meal prepared by some of the city’s best chefs, with expert wine pairings for each course. The fest itself will feature the Forked Up Food Court with selections from some of the city’s favorite restaurants, including Blue Oak BBQ, Dat Dog, Reginellis, and The Big Cheezy. Options are available for all dietary restrictions including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free.
Looking for something else to do between sets? There are tons of sponsored tents to check out full of activities and freebies. Play classic games like Skee-Ball at the Angry Orchard Arcade, or get your drink on at the Brew Dat Craft Beer Hall or Jam Cellars Voodoo Wine Lounge. Snap some spooky selfies at the Mortuary’s Voodoo Interactive Graveyard, or the Voodoo Ranger Lounge. Three days might not be enough time to get in all that Voodoo Fest has to offer!
View More Articles By Katie Baer