Events

Every Outdoor Concert in New Orleans You'll Want to Hit This Summer

Published On 04/11/2016 Published On 04/11/2016
Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty Images
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival | Flickr/Alyson Hurt

Date

Event

Location

Apr 11 Mon

Thursday night Twilights at City Park One of the biggest municipal parks in the nation just has to have a summer concert series. Lucky for us, this is a great one that runs from January right through late April... which is basically summer in NOLA, anyhow. At only $10 per person (plus free parking!), this show’s a steal every week. Plus: mint juleps!

City Park/Mid-City

Thursday night Twilights at City Park City Park/Mid-City One of the biggest municipal parks in the nation just has to have a summer concert series. Lucky for us, this is a great one that runs from January right through late April... which is basically summer in NOLA, anyhow. At only $10 per person (plus free parking!), this show’s a steal every week. Plus: mint juleps!

Date

Event

Location

Apr 11-May 10

Paradigm Gardens Concert Series Central City has come a long way. In addition to some new local eateries and attractions, we now have this cool concert series, where food from awesome eateries like kin, Patois, and Coquette gets paired with great local music. Tickets aren’t free (35 clams a pop), but you’d wind up spending at least that at any of these restaurants, right? And yes, in true NOLA fashion, drinks are included in that ticket price.

Central City

Paradigm Gardens Concert Series Central City Central City has come a long way. In addition to some new local eateries and attractions, we now have this cool concert series, where food from awesome eateries like kin, Patois, and Coquette gets paired with great local music. Tickets aren’t free (35 clams a pop), but you’d wind up spending at least that at any of these restaurants, right? And yes, in true NOLA fashion, drinks are included in that ticket price.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 11-May 18

YLC Wednesdays at the Square This has become one of the most popular free concert series in NOLA in recent years, and it’s always good for a rollicking performance on the Square’s two stages (multiple stages = no down time between sets, which is super cool). Some big time local talent is taking the stage(s) this year, too, from Amanda Shaw to Kermit Ruffins, Flow Tribe, and a TBA "Very Exciting Closing Act." We’re hoping for "puppet show and Spinal Tap," but aren’t holding our breath...

Lafayette Square, CBD

YLC Wednesdays at the Square Lafayette Square, CBD This has become one of the most popular free concert series in NOLA in recent years, and it’s always good for a rollicking performance on the Square’s two stages (multiple stages = no down time between sets, which is super cool). Some big time local talent is taking the stage(s) this year, too, from Amanda Shaw to Kermit Ruffins, Flow Tribe, and a TBA "Very Exciting Closing Act." We’re hoping for "puppet show and Spinal Tap," but aren’t holding our breath...

Date

Event

Location

Apr 11-Jun 17

The Historic New Orleans Collection's Concerts in the Courtyard At one of the premier schmancy art collections in the city, you’ll find excellent local music, drinks, and food from spring to summer... for all of $10. That’s a sawbuck worth spending, friends.

French Quarter

The Historic New Orleans Collection's Concerts in the Courtyard French Quarter At one of the premier schmancy art collections in the city, you’ll find excellent local music, drinks, and food from spring to summer... for all of $10. That’s a sawbuck worth spending, friends.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 22-May 1

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Well, this one is the grandpappy of them all, and it only seems to get bigger every year. Big headliners this year include everyone from Stevie Wonder to Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Gary Clark, Jr., Bonnie Raitt... it’s overwhelming, and we love it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and shrimp boots, kids.

New Orleans Fairgrounds, Mid-City

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival New Orleans Fairgrounds, Mid-City Well, this one is the grandpappy of them all, and it only seems to get bigger every year. Big headliners this year include everyone from Stevie Wonder to Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Gary Clark, Jr., Bonnie Raitt... it’s overwhelming, and we love it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and shrimp boots, kids.

Bayou Boogaloo | Flickr/Will Gurley

Date

Event

Location

May 20 Fri

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo You’ve never fully experienced an outdoor concert in New Orleans until you’ve done it... from a canoe. Or kayak, paddleboard, swan-shaped paddle boat , or whatever your choice of aquatic vehicle is out on Bayou St. John. Just make sure not to get too "tipsy" and "rock the boat" (sorry, had to).

Mid-City

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Mid-City You’ve never fully experienced an outdoor concert in New Orleans until you’ve done it... from a canoe. Or kayak, paddleboard, swan-shaped paddle boat , or whatever your choice of aquatic vehicle is out on Bayou St. John. Just make sure not to get too "tipsy" and "rock the boat" (sorry, had to).

Date

Event

Location

May 27 Fri

Greek Fest Opa! You don’t necessarily think "Greek heritage" when you think New Orleans, but this staple of the local festival circuit has become a favorite of natives for decades now. As always, there will be plenty of wine, ouzo, spit-roasted lamb (the best the city has to offer), spanakopita, and more festive Greek music & Hellenic dancing than you can probably handle. And hey, if you wear a toga on Sunday, you get in free of charge!

Bayou St. John

Greek Fest Bayou St. John Opa! You don’t necessarily think "Greek heritage" when you think New Orleans, but this staple of the local festival circuit has become a favorite of natives for decades now. As always, there will be plenty of wine, ouzo, spit-roasted lamb (the best the city has to offer), spanakopita, and more festive Greek music & Hellenic dancing than you can probably handle. And hey, if you wear a toga on Sunday, you get in free of charge!

Cajun Zydeco Festival | Flickr/johnwk

Date

Event

Location

Jun 1-Jul 6

Wednesdays on the Point Why should the Eastbankers get to have all the fun when it comes to outdoor music and food during our sweltering summers? The Point has taken that challenge head-on, hosting this weekly Wednesday concert series free to one and all. (Not counting the charge for the ferry, if that’s how you’re getting over there.)

​Algiers

Wednesdays on the Point ​Algiers Why should the Eastbankers get to have all the fun when it comes to outdoor music and food during our sweltering summers? The Point has taken that challenge head-on, hosting this weekly Wednesday concert series free to one and all. (Not counting the charge for the ferry, if that’s how you’re getting over there.)

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4 Sat

New Orleans Oyster Festival OK, so even we’ll admit that having an oyster festival in the dead of summer seems like a weird idea (remember that whole "ends in ‘r’" adage?). But in NOLA, the oyster rule doesn’t always apply: our warm waters generally keep the bivalves big, clean, and delicious all year long. Plus, what goes better with Louisiana oysters than local music? This shindig has become just as much about the sounds from the stage as it has the dizzying variety of oyster preparations.

Woldenberg Park, Downtown

New Orleans Oyster Festival Woldenberg Park, Downtown OK, so even we’ll admit that having an oyster festival in the dead of summer seems like a weird idea (remember that whole "ends in ‘r’" adage?). But in NOLA, the oyster rule doesn’t always apply: our warm waters generally keep the bivalves big, clean, and delicious all year long. Plus, what goes better with Louisiana oysters than local music? This shindig has become just as much about the sounds from the stage as it has the dizzying variety of oyster preparations.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

French Market Creole Tomato Festival Summer, as we know here in Louisiana, is the very best time for tomatoes. And to be less than humble, we think we have the best damned ‘maters in the world down here, as is evidenced by a festival in their honor every year. But wait, isn’t this supposed to be helpful list of outdoors summer concerts? Well, guess what, compadre: there’s plenty of music -- as well as tomatoes -- to be found at this extravaganza in the French Market. Plus, this year marks the fest’s 30th anniversary, so you just know it’s going to be one to remember.

French Quarter

French Market Creole Tomato Festival French Quarter Summer, as we know here in Louisiana, is the very best time for tomatoes. And to be less than humble, we think we have the best damned ‘maters in the world down here, as is evidenced by a festival in their honor every year. But wait, isn’t this supposed to be helpful list of outdoors summer concerts? Well, guess what, compadre: there’s plenty of music -- as well as tomatoes -- to be found at this extravaganza in the French Market. Plus, this year marks the fest’s 30th anniversary, so you just know it’s going to be one to remember.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18 Sat

Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival OK, let’s all get it out of our collective system: "We gonna pass a good time on de bayou, cherie, AYIIIIII!!!" Now that we can dispense with the cliches, we can get to the always-fun business of celebrating the music of the Cajuns (and, of course, Cajun food, as well). The best part: you don’t even have to trek outside the city, as the LCZF is conveniently located right here in town. All the more reason to bust out those cowboy boots and grandma Clotille’s accordion, right?

Louis Armstrong Park

Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival Louis Armstrong Park OK, let’s all get it out of our collective system: "We gonna pass a good time on de bayou, cherie, AYIIIIII!!!" Now that we can dispense with the cliches, we can get to the always-fun business of celebrating the music of the Cajuns (and, of course, Cajun food, as well). The best part: you don’t even have to trek outside the city, as the LCZF is conveniently located right here in town. All the more reason to bust out those cowboy boots and grandma Clotille’s accordion, right?

Bastille Day Fete | Flickr/infrogmation

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Sat

Bastille Day Fête After the Spanish are done with their party, it’s time to celebrate yet another culture that famously shaped this city into the hot mess we all love: the French. Bastille Day in Nouvelle Orleans features plenty of live music, naturally, and also loads of wine, berets, baguettes, and lovely stinky cheese, among other accoutrements enjoyed by francophiles. This one is family-friendly, too, so bring the kiddos out to enjoy the festivities, which include fantastic costumes (a must in NOLA) and even pétanque. That said, the existential ennui is purely BYOB.

Citywide, particularly Faubourg St. John (Mid-City)

Bastille Day Fête Citywide, particularly Faubourg St. John (Mid-City) After the Spanish are done with their party, it’s time to celebrate yet another culture that famously shaped this city into the hot mess we all love: the French. Bastille Day in Nouvelle Orleans features plenty of live music, naturally, and also loads of wine, berets, baguettes, and lovely stinky cheese, among other accoutrements enjoyed by francophiles. This one is family-friendly, too, so bring the kiddos out to enjoy the festivities, which include fantastic costumes (a must in NOLA) and even pétanque. That said, the existential ennui is purely BYOB.

Satchmo Summerfest | Flickr/Derek Bridges

Date

Event

Location

Aug 4 Thu

Satchmo SummerFest The legacy of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is so important to this city that we renamed the freaking NOLA International Airport after him. This festival celebrates Mr. Armstrong and his music -- and jazz in general -- in a way that we’re sure would make the man himself smile. Dozens of live performances, lectures, and other events litter the city, and it’s something revelatory to behold if you haven’t had the good grace to enjoy hot jazz on a hot night in New Orleans. This, friends, is where it’s AT. Among the various events this weekend, don’t miss the "Satchmo Strut" down Frenchmen Street!

Downtown/various

Satchmo SummerFest Downtown/various The legacy of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is so important to this city that we renamed the freaking NOLA International Airport after him. This festival celebrates Mr. Armstrong and his music -- and jazz in general -- in a way that we’re sure would make the man himself smile. Dozens of live performances, lectures, and other events litter the city, and it’s something revelatory to behold if you haven’t had the good grace to enjoy hot jazz on a hot night in New Orleans. This, friends, is where it’s AT. Among the various events this weekend, don’t miss the "Satchmo Strut" down Frenchmen Street!

Date

Event

Location

Aug 27 Sat

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival Music and art, art and music... could any two phenomena be so inextricably tied to the culture of NOLA? Well, you’ll get both here in spades. Don’t worry if you’re not part of the "music business and entertainment law" professionals that this shindig caters to; all shows are free to enter and open to the public. It’s a beautiful thing.

CBD, Warehouse Arts District

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival CBD, Warehouse Arts District Music and art, art and music... could any two phenomena be so inextricably tied to the culture of NOLA? Well, you’ll get both here in spades. Don’t worry if you’re not part of the "music business and entertainment law" professionals that this shindig caters to; all shows are free to enter and open to the public. It’s a beautiful thing.

Louisiana Seafood Festival | Flickr/MattJCarbone

Date

Event

Location

Sep 2-4

Louisiana Seafood Festival While the ninth month might signal cooler climes in other parts of the country, it’s still seriously summer in NOLA come September. And how else would we celebrate this -- or anything, really -- than with local seafood and live music? This event grew big quickly, moving from several stages on the river to the more expansive City Park, where you’ll find tons of live acts, including everyone from John Boutte, Bonerama... even freaking Starship, to go with your shrimp, oysters, crabs, and fish.

City Park

Louisiana Seafood Festival City Park While the ninth month might signal cooler climes in other parts of the country, it’s still seriously summer in NOLA come September. And how else would we celebrate this -- or anything, really -- than with local seafood and live music? This event grew big quickly, moving from several stages on the river to the more expansive City Park, where you’ll find tons of live acts, including everyone from John Boutte, Bonerama... even freaking Starship, to go with your shrimp, oysters, crabs, and fish.

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