Monday, April 4, 2011

French Quarter Fest should be great

The French Quarter Festival has really come into its own this year, adding a fourth day on Thursday and featuring many of the city's best musicians in a wide array of styles. What began as a modest celebration of the city's traditional jazz played literally on the streets of the French Quarter has now became a massive showcase of local talent on 17 stages in the Quarter and along the bans of the Mississippi. The organizers' claim that French Quarter Fest has become bigger than Jazz Fest is open to some degree of scrutiny -- it's impossible to accurately count the number of people who actually attend because it's a free festival and people come and go as they please so there's got to be a lot of multi-counting or as they say at the racetrack "spinners" -- people who pass through the venue's entrances multiple times in a day. But whether or not French Quarter Fest is bigger than Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras is an argument best left to the Donald Trumps of the world. The important thing is that Bon Jovi will be nowhere near it. This is the only festival even remotely as big that features nothing but Local talent (the few ringers have local ties to account for their presence but none of them are in featured spots). Once again the great Lillian Boutte will open the proceedings on Thursday afternoon with a set that will hopefully include an appearance by John Boutte and other members of that superb musical family.

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