What could be better than spending the Halloween weekend in New Orleans – a city already known for its party scene, music, and cuisine? All that can be found at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The three-day event takes place in the 1,300-acre City Park with over 65 acts, including The Weekend, Tool, Die Antwoord, Cage the Elephant, Foals, Puscifer and Arcade Fire.
While there will be no shortage of EDM, acts like the young Swede LEON will go acoutic on Friday before her Saturday performance. While one of the best live performers, Chairlift, will be doing a DJ set after their afternoon show at the Toyota Music Den. The festival also features participatory art installations, including Cone V2 – a 30-foot acrylic tube fixed to a turntable that you can interact with by spinning it.
If you’re maxed out on debauchery, visit the 10-foot-tall candle to repent your transgressions. If these reasons weren’t enough music to your ears, the organizers have made several improvements, aim to make your Voodoo Experience flood the social media feed.
One of my biggest fears at an outdoor event is the bathroom situation – compared to the advancements of mobile technology, the portable toilets we are used to at festivals have not evolved much since the 1970’s. What a relief when I learned that Voodoo fest will replace porta potties with an “enhanced temporary restrooms that flush” with automatic doors. These are probably similar to the bathrooms that are usually reserved for artists and sometimes the members of the press.
Other changes are the remapping of the festival grounds and the prevention of a rain out. In 2015, Voodoo fest shut down on the third day due to precipitation and lack of drainage. This year promises a condition that’ll keep the event going if inclement weather should befall again. Rearranging stages will resolve one of the biggest gripes from past attendees: sound bleeding. In addition, the space has been enlarged to include more of the park’s centuries-old oak trees, and the entrance has been relocated to Shelter pavilion.
If you need a break from the concerts, you’ll have several options. For the sports fans, you can catch up on the latest scores in a new covered beer garden with ping pong tables and cornhole games. There’s also a wine bar for those who rather sip. Visit the Market Place to enjoy a visual cornucopia of arts and crafts, or wander around the grounds for free stuff, activities, and giveaways from Voodoo fest partners and sponsors.
Of course it wouldn’t be a festival unless food is involved. With 20 vendors at the Forked Up food court, you can enjoy some of the best traditional New Orleans’ cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for BBQ, jambalaya, crêpes, fresh salads, pizza, burgers, hot dog, or even Vietnamese, Forked Up should have something for everyone, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Voodoo Experience has been twice nominated for Pollstar’s Music Festival of the Year. Maybe 2016 is the year, they’ll out do themselves.