Lured by historic Rolling Stones performance, half-a-million fans attend New Orleans Jazz Fest


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An extra day and the lure of an appearance by the Rolling Stones pushed attendance at the 2024 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to a half a million people, organizers said Monday.

That was the second highest attendance in the festival’s history — just behind the 600,000 attendees in 2001. In 2023, more than 460,000 people passed through the festival’s gates.

“This year’s Festival presented as plainly as ever the beauty of Jazz Fest,” festival producer Quint Davis said in a statement. “Watching the Rolling Stones perform with New Orleans and Louisiana stars Irma Thomas and Dwayne Dopsie was to witness the power of the Festival to demonstrate the connection of our culture to some of the greatest music of our time.”

The historic, sold-out appearance of the Rolling Stones last week was the triumphant conclusion of a multi-year effort to bring the band to the event, after cancellations in 2019 and 2021. Few festival performances have been more anticipated, and even fewer, if any, better received by fans, Davis said in a statement.

Other 2024 festival highlights included Jon Batiste’s only-in-New-Orleans set that paid homage to the city’s piano legends, including Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint. There was also the Foo Fighters’ electric return to the event as well as appearances by Chris Stapleton, the Killers, Queen Latifah, Fantasia and Vampire Weekend.

Next year’s event is scheduled for April 24-May 4.

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