As soon as Mardi Gras came to an end, we all knew what was coming for us: festival season! Let’s face it, with the line up of festivals in the Big Easy these days, you can hit up a festival almost every weekend. From Beignet Fest, to Po-Boy Festival and everything in between, there’s no shortage of festin’ to be done.
However, the springtime is deemed the official festival season by locals. Why, you ask? Because the weather starts warming up, and some of the most renowned festivals of the year like French Quarter Fest and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival take place.
Festival season is a blast, but if you’re a novice, there are just a few things you should know before heading out to fest this weekend.
1. Stay Cool
It is not frowned upon to bring a portable fan, spray bottle, umbrella or whatever you need to stay cool. The sun is already beaming and you don’t want to ruin your beautiful skin, not to mention sweat you a** off when you have an entire day of drinking, eating and dancing ahead. Don’t forget to slather on plenty of sunscreen as well, and pack some extra in your bag. Bonus points for a cute fedora or fest hat to protect your face!
2. Dress Cute, but Comfortably
We know you are tempted to break out your new spring espadrilles and show off those tan legs at French Quarter Fest this weekend babes, but trust us, leave them at home. Opt for cute little tennis shoes instead. Flip-flops are also a no. Your feet will get uncomfortably dirty or you may even sink into a mud pit (ahem, Jazz Fest 2015). If the forecast says rain, head to a cute local shop and pick up a pair of rain boots and a poncho. An easy to carry bag is also essential – backpacks and fanny packs for the win!
3. Choose Transportation Wisely
You already know parking is going to be a pain. If you can walk or park at one of your friends houses that lives nearby, do it! If not, grab an Uber or a cab. If you’ve got really cool friends or parents, don’t be afraid to ask them to drop you at the front gate in exchange for some fest food to-go when you leave of course.
4. Get a Spot
When you get into the fest, you’ll need to claim a good spot ASAP! The crowds will fill in fast, but there’s an unspoken rule that if someone’s blanket or chairs are set down in an area, IT’S TAKEN. If you are a newbie, please remember this because New Orleanians tend to get as protective over their fest spots as their parking spots. Buy some affordable fold up chairs from the Dollar Store, or bring a sheet or blanket to use as your meeting and resting spot for your group. Try to get by a stage with good music! Some people even bring a flag pole so their friends can spot them from far away as the music will be loud and the cell service spotty.
5. Eat & Stay Hydrated
Sometimes you get so caught up in the spot finding, music and friends that you forget to try ALL the things. We know the food is always delicious in this city, but fest season food is some of the best. Plus you’ll need the carbs to keep you going through a full day of drinking. The long lines can be discouraging. The best strategy is to have you and your friends split up into a few different lines, get 1-2 of each dish, and all try a taste. That way wait time is minimal and you get to try lots of different things! O yea, and stay hydrated (water, beer, water, beer, beer, beer, beer).
What fests are you heading to this season babes? Hope to catch you at Jazz Fest this weekend! Need more fest hacks? Check out our Mardi Gras hacks here, and you’ll be festin’ like a pro in no time babes!