This year, new rules and new infrastructure have been added to the 47th edition of what is now formally the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell.

In an effort to alleviate congestion, huge green bleachers, open to all on a first-come, first-served basis, have sprung up alongside the Acura Stage and Congo Square Stage fields. Blankets and chairs are no longer permitted anywhere on the dirt track that it is supposed to serve as the festival’s circular pedestrian freeway. And the standing room-only areas in front of the three largest stages have been expanded.

Otherwise, Jazz Fest should pretty much feel like Jazz Fest.

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