Feb 28, 2013 1:29 PM by MELISSA CANONE
Tourism officials call French Quarter Festival 'the kickoff to festival season in New Orleans,' and what started as a neighborhood festival and 'locals' event' has grown into one of the largest music festivals in the United States. The 2012 French Quarter Festival hosted over 574,000 local and out-of-town visitors and had an economic impact of over $260 million. 'Locals' Lagniappe Day' was launched in 2011, and French Quarter Festival officially became a four-day event. For the 30th anniversary, organizers will add new special events to festival; welcome incredible new restaurants to 'The World's Largest Jazz Brunch'; continue to program world class local musicians; and create special experiences for festival goers - all weekend long.
Sponsors help to keep this a true community event - Chevron joins as Title Sponsor and commits to multi-year sponsorship of both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest
French Quarter Festivals Executive Director, Marci Schramm, can often be heard telling people that 'the hardest thing about producing large-scale, high quality events - that are free and open to the public - is paying for them!' Chevron has been a longtime sponsor of French Quarter Festival, supporting both festival musicians and children's programming. Under the leadership of Vice President Warner Williams, Chevron has made a multi-year commitment to become Title Sponsor of both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. This investment will allow non-profit French Quarter Festivals, Inc. to add new programming to the festivals, to engage in more long term and strategic planning, and to grow the August Satchmo SummerFest - which is a major summertime event for the City, during a time when businesses need a boost from tourism. "Chevron is proud to join the annual celebration of New Orleans's vibrant culture as title sponsor of the French Quarter Festival. This investment is part of Chevron's commitment to arts which we believe inspires, celebrates diversity, stimulates economic growth, and fuels the social vitality of the community our thousands of employees call home," said Warner Williams, Vice President North America Exploration and Production, Gulf of Mexico Business Unit.
Showcasing New Orleans Music and Local Musicians
On twenty (of its twenty-one) music stages, only Louisiana artists are featured (the festival hosts one 'International Stage' where traditional jazz bands from all over the world perform). Part of the great appeal of French Quarter Festival is that attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience - locals and visitors can hear a broad range of artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres. French Quarter Festival is committed to keeping Traditional Jazz alive, and features New Orleans' finest artists throughout the four days of festival, on stages all over the French Quarter. For 2013, the Cabaret Stage will move to the Palm Court Jazz Café, and is sponsored by the Hotel Monteleone - the 'Official Hotel' of French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest.
For the 30th anniversary, festival organizers will bring back an event from the early years of French Quarter Festival by launching the 'Chevron Evening Concert Series.' A second line parade loaded with New Orleans talent and personality will precede these special sets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Festival. This year's Chevron Evening Concert Series artists include the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (celebrating their 35th anniversary), Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet (sometimes referred to as 'the best Cajun band in the world'), and Grammy Award winner Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience (celebrating their 31st anniversary).
Notable artists who will be performing at French Quarter Festival's 30th anniversary celebration include: Soul Rebels, George Porter, Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, NOLA Nightingale Revue, Raw Oyster Cult, Bonerama, Chris Owens, the Dixie Cups, Harmonouche, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Preservation Hall-Stars, Walter 'Wolfman' Washington, Chubby Carrier, Donald Harrison, Jr., Davell Crawford, Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Orchestra, Meschiya & the Little Big Horns, Papa Grows Funk, Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, John Autin and ex-Treme featuring Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson, Dr. Michael White, and more.
French Quarter Festival's Musician Sponsorship Program continues to grow. For 2013, over one hundred companies, individuals, and foundations have signed up to support local musicians by 'adopting an artist.' Sponsors come from all over the United States - from Minneapolis to Maryland - and are helping to keep French Quarter Festival free for the community. This year the Sheraton Hotel (also celebrating its 30th anniversary) joins as the largest single sponsor of festival musicians since the program's inception. The 2013 French Quarter Festival will feature over 1,400 local artists. The Festival is still seeking 2013 sponsorships. Contact Georgia Rhody at (504) 522-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org more information.