All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater Live Reviews
Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 25, 2018
Read The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium Live Reviews
The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium
by Roger Weisman
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre Live Reviews
Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City Baha’i Center" Live Reviews Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City...
by Tyran Grillo
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Kyle Taylor Parker at The Green Room 42" Live Reviews Kyle Taylor Parker at The Green Room 42
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read ""A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane" Live Reviews "A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory" Live Reviews We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory
by Josef Woodard
Published: December 16, 2017