All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

11

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience 2013

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Due to growing pains, there were some issues. In addition to the sound bleed (Nicholas Payton took to Twitter, writing that he and other members of Dr. John's band couldn't hear each other onstage because of the noise coming from the other stages. The VIP area was over-expanded and took a large portion of the viewing area away from the masses (the true fans) essentially taking up the entire right side of the audience area. This led to Eddie Vedder (who notoriously thumbs his nose at the entitled elite) calling it the "jacuzzi section or whatever the fuck that is over there." There were numerous glitches with the scanning system for the multi-day electronic wristband tickets. This was partially due to the fact that the staff at the gates appeared to be under-trained. In essence, this was a new festival with new management and a new staff. Some were downright rude. The "Merch Church" was run by a new vendor. Running out of t-shirts in a popular size less than four hours into Day 1 is not a good way to start. This was especially upsetting because during the daytime hours on the first day of the festival, the crowd was sparse.

Because of the reduction in the number of stage, it appeared that there were fewer local New Orleans and Louisiana acts on the bill this year. Many acts that in the past graced the now-deleted stages appeared to have been deleted as well. Where were John Boutte, the Soul Rebels, Galactic, the Treme Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, Bonerama, Dumpstaphunk, John Gros, the 101 Runners, Shamarr Allen, Cowboy Mouth, the Pfister Sisters, the New Orleans Nightingales, Anders Osborne, any member of the Neville Brothers, Debauche, the Lost Bayou Ramblers and so many others?

While some of the things that made Voodoo special year-in and year-out have, it appears, been lost in sand of time, some of the festival's charm remained. Though less in numbers than in past years (in part due to this year's festival immediately following Halloween), many revelers arrived at City Park dressed in Halloween costumes. Some were clever. Some were provocative. Some were elaborate. Some fit into all three categories. Some were downright confusing. There were fun and interesting art installations (though outside of the big Voodoo Head, they were harder to find). The Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides were, as always, fun. The Toyota Soundwave Tent is a brilliant way to see some of the festival's most intriguing acts in an intimate setting. And the food...it was wonderful. The main food court area (featuring local cuisine and all sorts of barbecue fare) was more than just a food court. It was created to be the center of town—forming a square in the middle of the festival site. In addition, there were a few other food and drink vendors located throughout the festival grounds.

Obviously, with new management, new grounds, new configuration, fewer stages, the first festival of the new era was going to be the test drive. Now that Steven Rehage and Live Nation know what worked, what didn't and what disappointed the faithful, the opportunity is there to make changes. They're needed.

The music, however, is how a festival should be judged (mostly). And on a musical note the 15th Voodoo Music + Arts Experience was a rousing success, blending high profile national and local musical acts (current chart-toppers, musical legends, emerging acts, and local heroes) representing many different genres into a three-day festival where the fans can and did "worship the music."


Photo Credit
All photos: Christine Connallon
[Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon].

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center Live Reviews
Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre Live Reviews
Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Hitch On 2017 Live Reviews
Hitch On 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: February 17, 2018
Read WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018 Live Reviews
WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 16, 2018
Read Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley Live Reviews
Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley
by David Hadley Ray
Published: February 14, 2018
Read Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band at Sculler's Jazz Club Live Reviews
Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band at Sculler's Jazz...
by Nat Seelen
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Jazz Jantar 2017" Live Reviews Jazz Jantar 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note" Live Reviews Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Vorcza at Nectar's" Live Reviews Vorcza at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Like A Jazz Machine 2017" Live Reviews Like A Jazz Machine 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole" Live Reviews Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Ellington's Nutcracker at The Jazz Corner" Live Reviews Ellington's Nutcracker at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 25, 2017