The 50th anniversary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicks off Thursday with a fresh lineup of music performances and events.

Here is the essential, need-to-know information for a seamless Jazz Fest:

Gates open at 11 a.m. Thursday. Single-day tickets are still available for $75 in advance or $85 at the gate. There are taxi stands, bus stops and bicycling parking near the fest. See ticket and transportation details below.

While small, soft coolers and small tarps are allowed inside the gates, large coolers, pets, athletic games and more are prohibited. See the full list below.

Earth, Wind and Fire; Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns; Doctor Nativo and more will perform on the first Locals Thursday of Jazz Fest.

Headlining at the Acura stage, Earth, Wind and Fire will perform from 5:25 until 6:55 p.m.

Find information on can't miss Thursday performances below. Click here for the full schedule.

Returning for the first Friday of Jazz Fest? More than 70 performances are scheduled for the day, including PJ Morton, The Revivalists, The Head and the Heart, and Aloe Blacc.

Santana headlines the Acura Stage from 5 to 7 p.m.

The full schedule is available here. Catch a breakdown of the can't miss shows below.

Saturday's lineup features a range of talent from Hurray for the Riff Raff and Rebirth Brass Band to Katy Perry and Logic.

Katy Perry makes her Jazz Fest debut as the Acura Stage headliner from 5:40 to 7 p.m.

Find a preview of top performances below. The full cube schedule is available here.

The first weekend of Jazz Fest will close out with a multitude of shows and a special Ellis Marsalis Family Tribute featuring Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason with Ellis Marsalis.

Bonnie Raitt, Bleachers, Al Green, Johnny Rivers and more round out the line-up. Van Morrison headlines the Acura stage from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

A handful of key performances are highlighted below. Find the full schedule here.