Arts & Culture
2:30 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Jazz Fest Plays On Despite Rain

Jazz Fest plays on despite the rain.

Ground crews poured sand around the festival lawns and walkways this morning.

The Fair Grounds were already muddy even before the rain started around noon.

Thursday is known as locals' day, and veteran festival goers had ponchos, umbrellas and rain boots ready to go.

WWNO’s Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!, was at the Food and Heritage stage, cooking gumbo for one of the day’s demonstrations. The kitchen is at the far end of the Grandstands, the inside portion of the festival.

"The Grandstands are one of the most fantastic places to hang out at the festival, particularly if the weather’s inclement or you’re sick of the mud. And all day long people are making delicious things for you that you get to taste," she says.

She says the Grandstands have music, interviews, and another special food item.

"That’s where you go to get the raw oysters. And they’re cold and they’re salty and it’s just about the best times of year. That’s one of the magical confluences of Jazz Fest."

And while the rain may dampen attendance for the festival during the day, Festival Productions CEO Quint Davis says Jazz Fest is designed to have greater economic impact across the city at night.

"We have 12 stages out here, of music, right? New Orleans has 50, 60, 70 stages, clubs that have music at night. We have 85 restaurants. New Orleans has over 400 restaurants," he says.

Closing acts at the festival stages today include R&B artist Kem, Singer songwriter Patti Smith and the jam band Widespread Panic.