The name says it all. The Central City Oyster Jam brings both the jams and the oysters to Central City on Sunday (Jan. 20).

It’s an all-day, family-friendly mini food and music fest. 

It could also count as a Saints pre-party, and (hopefully, possibly, if the football gods allow), after Sunday's NFC championship game it could also be a pre-Super Bowl party.

The event is the evolution of the original Freret Oyster Jam held in 2014. Now it’s at Central City BBQ, where a ring of repurposed shipping containers, outdoor bars and booths and a covered stage create a unique events venue a few blocks from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


The outdoor grounds of Central City BBQ host events, from concerts to benefits like the Backyard BBQ fundraiser for the Crescent City Farmers Market.

Not coincidentally, this edition of the Oyster Jam, just like the first one, is timed at the end of a reunion weekend for the Radiators. The legendary local band will play a three-day run of shows, Thursday through Friday, at Tipitina’s. Those shows are all listed as sold out.

The Oyster Jam, however, is headlined by Raw Oyster Cult, a band with four members from the Radiators (Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, Frank Bua and Reggie Scanlon, along with Michael Burkart). They take the stage at 6 p.m., following the NFC Championship Game.


Dave Malone performs with the Raw Oyster Cult and some Fishy Friends on the Gentilly Stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

That takes care of the jam in Oyster Jam, along with Motel Radio (at 11 a.m.), Louis Michot (at 12:30 p.m.) and the Iceman Special at (8:30 p.m.). 

The oyster part of the equation will be served up from one long raw bar staffed by a team of shuckers, with a view to the stage. One of the event’s partner organizations is the nonprofit Gulf Restoration Network, which is using the Oyster Jam to highlight the connection between oysters and a healthy coast.

Around the ground, there will be tables from other groups and vendors, including Perique Pepper Sauce serving escargot po-boys, an award winner (“most unique”) from last year’s Oak Street Po-Boy Fest.

Central City BBQ will serve its full menu throughout the event. And, naturally, all the TV screens will be showing football, come what may.

Central City Oyster Jam

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (bands from 11 a.m.)

WHERE: Central City BBQ, 1201 S. Rampart St.

Info: tickets $20 ($25 at door), schedule at

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.