French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron, New Orleans' premier free festival featuring the largest showcase of Louisiana's unique music, food, arts and culture, "makes" 35 this year- while the city of New Orleans turns 300. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), the local nonprofit that produces the festival, today announced this year's event will take place April 12-15, 2018.
The first French Quarter Festival took place in 1984 as a neighborhood festival and locals' event. Today, it has grown into one of the largest free festivals in the country, with an average economic impact for the community of approximately $190 million.
This year's festival-goers can expect outstanding Louisiana food; in 2018, organizers welcome new vendors Café Dauphine, The Company Burger, and SoBou to the list of 50+ participants. The event will also bring a diverse music lineup, the Chevron Children's Headquarters featuring theSTEAM Zone, fireworks, and more. French Quarter Festival will feature nearly 300 acts on more than 20 stages, Film Fest at French Quarter Fest (curated by Cinema on the Bayou), interviews with celebrated musicians and, as an official New Orleans Tricentennial event, The Tricentennial Homecoming Pavilion featuring exhibits, a hospitality lounge, and the One Time in NOLA story booth.
"French Quarter Fest is an integral part of more modern New Orleans history, and we're excited to celebrate our 35th anniversary in conjunction with New Orleans' Tricentennial," said Emily Madero, President and CEO of FQFI. "In 2018, as we reflect on our 35 year history, we are proud to remain a locals' favorite, showcasing the best food, music, and culture Louisiana has to offer. Of course we couldn't do it without the help of our sponsors and volunteers- we are truly grateful to Chevron and all who make it possible to keep the festival a free community event."
French Quarter Fest's 35th anniversary celebration kicks off March 15, 2018, with its annual gala fundraiser, held at Antoine's restaurant. The patron party will feature "A Taste of the Fest" with bite-sized versions of French Quarter Festival's most popular and famous dishes. During the gala, the organization will recognize the late Fats Domino, as well as other talented and notable culture icons. American jazz pianist Henry Butler will present A Tribute to Fats and New Orleans Legends. Early-bird discounts are available through February 15 and can be purchased at fqfi.org.
This year, FQFI is launching a new membership program, The NOLA.com Fest Family Experience. Members will enjoy a VIP festival experience with an elevated viewing platform on the riverfront, private hospitality area, air- conditioned bathrooms, discounts, memorabilia, and exclusive programming.
The French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron music lineup and other details will be released at the official press conference on Tuesday, February 20 at Jackson Square.