Planning your Jazz Fest_lowres



Since partnering with AEG Live, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has flexed some booking muscle. Arena-filling acts like Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam and Neil Young have helped pack the Fair Grounds. The 2011 lineup includes more big names who fall outside the already wide umbrella of genres more directly related to traditional New Orleans and Louisiana music. Looking over the daily schedule, one also notices that every day features a configuration of headliners that could pack the grounds. The usually lighter-attended Thursday features Wilco, Cyndi Lauper, Lucinda Williams and Maceo Parker at the top of the bill. That means that given a good stretch of weather, the festival could easily shatter its total attendance records.

So whether one is targeting a day to face the crowds or trying to shoot the moon and take in as many headliners (who don't often make it to New Orleans) as possible, be aware: tickets cost $60 at the gate. Advance ticket packages for either weekend bundle tickets at a cost of $40 each. So all three first weekend days for $120, or all four second weekend days for $160. The tickets are designated by day, so you can't split the package with friends and all go on the same day. Those packages are available through Feb. 25. Regular advance single day tickets are $45. Children's tickets (10-under) are still a bargain at $5, and will be available at the gate.

Festival Productions also created Bayou Country Superfest last year. The country music showcase will hold it's second event in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on May 28-29. It's lineup includes Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, The Zac Brown Band, Trace Adkins, Billy Currington and many more. Festival Productions recently announced it had released more premium tickets for that event.