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New Orleans jazz festival, rescheduled from spring, is canceled again due to COVID-19

An older man sits at a piano and speaks into a microphone
Ellis Marsalis, who died in 2020 from COVID-19 complications, appears at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 28, 2019.
(Sophia Germer / Associated Press)

With new COVID-19 cases surging in Louisiana, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival won’t be returning this year after all, organizers said Sunday.

The festival, which traditionally is held in the spring, had been scheduled to run Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17 this year after being canceled last year because of the pandemic.

But organizers cited “current exponential growth” of new COVID-19 cases in the city and region, as well as an ongoing public health emergency, in announcing that the festival will not occur as planned.

“We now look forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional timeframe,” organizers said in a news release, adding that next year’s dates are April 29-May 8.

Cultural movers and shakers in New Orleans received one of the most fortuitous rejections ever when they floated a business proposal half a century ago to the man behind the celebrated Newport jazz and folk music festivals, George Wein.

Ticketholders for both festival weekends will receive an email this week with details about the refund and rollover process, the release says.

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Jazz Fest celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The music encompasses nearly every style imaginable: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, contemporary and traditional jazz, country, bluegrass and everything in between.

It’s held at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, where multiple stages are erected for fans to gather in and around.


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