Come for the Food; Stay for the Music at French Quarter Fest!

March 03, 2023
The 40th anniversary of French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron, the largest free festival and showcase of Louisiana music, food, and culture, takes place April 13-16 from 11am to 8pm across venues and stages throughout the French Quarter. This year’s festival invites locals and visitors to join an unforgettable culinary adventure featuring regional cuisine from more than sixty local restaurants, and to dance to the beat of over 270 performances from talented musicians on twenty stages. The musical talent, representing more than thirty varieties of music, will be savored for four glorious days. There’s every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R&B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, Latin, Zydeco, classical cabaret and international music. It is completely free and all the stages are walkable from downtown. It’s no wonder that locals have voted the French Quarter Festival their favorite music and food festival and favorite public event. There’s nothing more authentic than this local party!

Try to catch the French Quarter Festival Kickoff Parade on Thursday, April 13 at 10am. The parade departs from the 200 block of Bourbon Street and makes its way to Jackson Square. Opening day will close with a bang as the legendary Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans, closes out the Chevron Stage and fireworks light up the night sky, thanks to support from New Orleans & Company.

Dance to the beat of musical legends including Ani DiFranco, Jason Neville Funky Soul Band, GRAMMY® Award-winning Michael Doucet, Tank and the Bangas, John Boutté, Sweet Crude, Robin Barnes and the Fiyabirds, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, and hundreds more. Don’t miss a special performance by the Soul Rebels featuring GRAMMY® nominated Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce. Attendees can experience Louisiana legends in the streets of the Quarter each night of the festival, thanks to the Chevron Evening Concert Series, with Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, Louisiana’s LeRoux, and Erica Falls at the Chevron Stage in the Jax Brewery Lot.

The GE Stage housed in Jackson Square returns with an all-star lineup of New Orleans’ most respected artists and culture-bearers including Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Charmaine Neville, and James Andrews. The riverfront Abita Beer Stage brings four days of music including Shamarr Allen and Flow Tribe. So many stages within easy walking distance!

Undoubtedly, the Fest’s long list of menu items has been creating its own fans for forty years. The 2023 French Quarter Festival Culinary Lineup, sponsored by Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard, returns with no shortage of flavor serving up New Orleans’ classics and modern dishes from local restaurants and chefs from over sixty vendors. This year’s lineup includes decadent options like the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake and Slow Roasted Duck Po-Boy from Jacques-Imo’s, Crabby Jack’s Rabbit Jambalaya, Crawfish Enchiladas with Green Chili Meat Sauce from Voleo’s and Mexican Style Street Corn and the award-winning Fried Chicken Sandwich from Southerns. Boulevard will serve their Boulevard Oysters with Crispy Gulf Oysters, Cream Spinach, and Crystal Aioli. Other favorites include Addis Nola, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ, Patton’s, Morrow’s, Ajun Cajun, and Vaucresson’s Sausage Co. Wash it all down with Abita Beer, a local brewery and major sponsor, French Market Coffee, or many other options.

The first French Quarter Fest was first held in 1984 to celebrate the completion of some annoying street construction for the World’s Fair. Today, thousands attend and the culinary offerings are a foodie’s dream: crawfish, gumbo, tacos, pulled pork, southern fried chicken with waffles, po-boys, pizza, boudin, soft shell crabs, jambalaya, beignets, muffalettas, BBQ, pralines and more.

Festival organizers continue to be a leader in sustainable festival production with hopes for a cleaner, healthier, and happier festival season in Louisiana. Only reusable, recyclable, and compostable food and drink products are used at the festival. The Green Team Crew will guide festival-goers in using recycling and composting stations and ensure all products are properly sorted and re-purposed.

Wow! It’s sensory overload with all of the eclectic tastes, smells, sounds, and sights! Pace yourself and try to relax, sauntering along as you take it all in. If you want to plan your day, go to for details on music, food, and more.