Well, I survived yet another New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Once spring comes around, I start getting into jazz fest mode. I guess it is just a mind set, nothing more than something to look forward to.
When I was single, I used to go each year. Then I started going with my boyfriend, who is now my husband. We used to go each weekend, but now with kids we had to limit it to either one weekend or one day per weekend. I actually went twice while I was big and pregnant and hot (as in temperature hot).
Everyone has their own way to experience the fest. Ours has become a neat ritual. We get there between 11:00 AM and 12:00 noon to set up camp. This serves as a base. The base has chairs, a blanket, umbrellas, small cooler with ice and wipes. From here we go check out the food, music, arts and crafts, then come back and relax. We even have a spot we go to each year. There are the same people that set up camp here, too. It is funny that you may never see these people anywhere else in town, but you know you will see them at the same spot every year.
This year seemed hotter than usual. Maybe it is the hormonal thing after giving birth twice. So, I decided to spend more time listening to music in the tents.
Here's just a sampling of the musicians I heard play in one weekend: Johnny Angel and the Swingin' Demons, the Dixie Cups, Buckwheat Zydeco, Galactic, Cowboy Mouth, Nicholas Payton, John Mayer, Treme Brass Band, Frankie Ford, Jeremy Davenport, Eric Lindell, Papa Grows Funk, Anders Osborne, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Ingrid Lucia, Greater Antioch Full Gospel Choir, Steely Dan, and Harry Connick, Jr. How can one weekend get any better?
Jazz fest used to be different. It seemed like it followed the title of jazz and heritage music of New Orleans or well, Louisiana. I don't get where Rod Stewart fits in or ZZ Top and Counting Crows. You can tell the changes over the years as the prices have gone up and to think you could go for just $10 a day. I guess to attract more people they need to pull in these other genres. I still enjoy it!
I am so glad I did not bring the kids. I have the idea that it is such a great musical experience that the kids must encounter. Then I realize the baby must take 2 naps a day, SG gets really cranky at about 1pm because she doesn't want to take her nap. Then I have to factor in the heat and boredom because they are doing what I want to do and not running and playing at the park. I almost brought them on Sunday, but after seeing at least 10 cranky, hot and sweaty kids either slumped in the stroller or in their parents' arms on Saturday, I decided I would wait until they are a bit older. I just want them to grow up appreciating the wonderful music our great city of New Orleans has to offer.