With New Orleanians being New Orleanians, people have found a way to bridge the long and disheartening gap between the last Jazz Fest – now more than two years in the rearview mirror – and the next, which, fingers crossed, will take place. next spring. If they can’t dance at the fairgrounds, they can at least order take-out from the usual food vendors and kick off “Jazz Festing in Place,” WWOZ’s nostalgic highlights from past festivals.
This weekend was to mark the return of something more like normalcy – not that October would have been normal for an event that, before COVID-19, happened every April and May. But the delta variant made planning for a fall festival too uncertain, and so music lovers are skipping it all over again.
Or maybe not.
Seeking to fill the suddenly empty spot on the music calendar, bring at least a few tourists to town safely, and provide a financial lifeline for clubs and musicians losing another big event, New Orleans & Company is launching NOLAxNOLA, a series. concerts across the city from October 7 to 17.
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So instead of hitting the track and wandering from stage to stage, fans with proof of vaccination or a PCR test can purchase a ticket to see Galactic at Tipitina, or Jason Marsalis’ tribute to his late one. Father Ellis in Snug Harbor, or a Howling Wolf Marching Band. New Orleans & Company had previously planned to spend $ 2 million on fall festival marketing, so there is no cost to participating venues.
As timely as the initiative is, it may not be ad hoc. New Orleans & Company CEO Stephen Perry and co-founder Sig Greenebaum see the potential to make NOLAxNOLA an annual event, like the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, which inspired the name.
For Perry’s tourism-focused organization, this represents a new way of doing business, a focus not on the 60,000-foot view, as he said, but on creating economic activity on field.
The NOLAxNOLA campaign “is going to help get people into the clubs and deliver that part of New Orleans that exists nowhere but here,” he said, directly benefiting places where “you listen to music. music and your molecules are rearranging a bit. “
Considering the success Louisiana artists and entertainment venues have had throughout the pandemic, this sounds like music to our ears.