The 45th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is well underway. The internationally renowned music festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the nation and the world alike to celebrate the unique culture and sounds of New Orleans commenced on April 24th and will run until May 3rd. Jess Simpson from Paste Magazine highlights a few things that you should keep in mind if you will be an attendee at this year’s festival.

Attend all types of concerts, not just the main attractions:

twitter390_400x400The Jazz fest attracts some of the biggest names in the music business, and thousands upon thousands of people will want to see these headliners performances. However, regional artists that you may have not necessarily heard of is what makes this event so special. First of all, these events will be much less crowded and you will most likely be able to sit very close to the action. Additionally, you may discover you really enjoy the music certain artists, or even an entire genre.

There is no need to drive:

Available parking spots in the area will be sparse, and very costly. Given the other options for transportation, there really is no need to drive. The city boasts expensive bike paths, and almost everything is within biking distance. Alternatively, you could opt for the Jazz Fest Express, a bus that picks you up and drops you just a short distance away from the festival activities. Taxi’s are also a great option as they typically offer a special rate of just five dollars per passenger during Jazz fest. Furthermore, taxi drivers also act as a tour guide, providing you a local’s perspective and knowledge the sights of New Orleans.  While not necessarily the fastest mode of transportation, a streetcar may be the most unique. If you are not in a rush, give it a try.

Arrive with an appetite and try new foods!

Jazz fest, at its core, is a celebration of Louisiana’s culture, and that includes its culinary identity as well. New Orleans is renowned for its food, and you should take full advantage of its culinary offerings while at Jazz Fest. Be sure to try out a few of the area’s famous restaurants, but also eat at the festival’s food vendors. Do not be afraid to try such dishes as crawfish pie, crawfish beignet, alligator pie, or boudin balls.