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Crowds gathered on the lawn in front of the Gentilly Stage with flags, chairs, and blankets during day 2 of Jazz Fest at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Come late Tuesday morning, the Jazz Fest rumor mill will finally shut down.

The lineup and ticketing information for the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be unveiled during a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

[FOLLOW LIVE: Click here for lineup reveal press conference coverage.]

At that point, the many rumors will be either confirmed or debunked.

Are the Rolling Stones playing? If so, will a special ticket price apply? What other big names are on the bill? What form will the augmented 50th anniversary programming take?

That something special is afoot was tipped in November, when the festival announced the addition of Thursday, April 25, to the schedule, expanding the 50th Jazz Fest to two four-day weekends.

The designation of that opening Thursday as "Locals Thursday," with discounted tickets for Louisiana residents, has fueled speculation that the second Thursday will be a special, premium-ticket 50th anniversary celebration possibly headlined by the Rolling Stones.

So, too, the announcement that WWOZ’s popular Brass Passes, which are usually good for admission to every day of the festival, won’t be valid on the second Thursday (but with that extra Thursday, they're still good for seven "regular" festival days).

The announcement about the extra day also said that the roster would be released in December, a month earlier than Jazz Fest's talent revelations in recent years. However, in December the festival pushed back the release date to the more typical time frame of mid-January.

The dates of what is formally the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell are April 25-28 and May 2-5.

Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis, who was a Tulane University student when he was hired by Jazz Fest’s founding producer, George Wein, to help round up musicians for the inaugural New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Louisiana Heritage Fair in 1970, has shaped the festival ever since. He and his team have added fresh wrinkles over the years, including big green bleachers to the Acura and Congo Square fields, an extensive VIP ticketing program and no-chair zones near the main stages.

It wouldn't be surprising if they've planned something even more dramatic for the 50th anniversary.

We’ll find out when Davis presides over Tuesday’s press conference. Whatever he announces, it will generate no shortage of opinions.

Information about the roster, tickets and any special programming will be published as soon as it is available at

The entire press conference will be streamed live on the Advocate’s Facebook page, starting at 11 a.m.

Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.

Keith Spera writes about music, culture and his kids.