Written By Duncan Walgreen
Photos by Whitney Tucker
The 20th Anniversary of Voodoo Music + Arts Festival conceded with a wave of after parties throughout the City of New Orleans every night of Halloween Weekend. Voodoo hosted a multitude of an official after parties and events for their festival goers, complimented by the pre-existing party scene that is New Orleans, from Frenchman Street to the dance floor.
New Orleans is a city that is known for many things, but stopping the party is not one of them. Considering the extra thousands of people that travel to New Orleans for the haunting yet charming Halloween celebrations, as well as the entire population of the Voodoo festival and locals that flood the streets of the Big Easy, the late nights carried into early mornings.
On Friday night following the festival, the famous Bourbon Street was bustling with tourists and New Orleans’ born and raised, but the real party was going down on Frenchman Street. Frenchman Street is the gem of the French Quarter, home to many famous bars and venues in the city, with a street completely overtaken by people in costumes and debaucherous Halloween cheer.
Aside from the classic New Orleans routes, many rolled to the Official Voodoo After Parties, aptly named “DEJA VOODOO,” where you could see your favorite acts do it all over again. Friday night consisted of another set of Third Eye Blind at the famous House of Blues, New Orleans. If you spent your day at the Le Plur stage of Voodoo and wanted to keep your party going, you were probably at The Metropolitan watching an extended set from Gryffin, or watching Kayzo throw down with GG Magree at the Joy Theater, a historical landmark theater that has been in operation since 1947. Those that were looking for something a little different probably found themselves watching Sofi Tukker, a duo of best friends at Gasa Gasa, a venue in Uptown New Orleans.
Saturday night brought an official Deja-Voodoo after party to the biggest nightclub in the city, The Metropolitan. The Metro NOLA hosted Porter Robinson, who was not on the Voodoo bill but carried a magical Saturday night onto the early Sunday morning with an incredible set of originals and remixed Porter Robinson classics. The EDM superstar packed the club with thousands of ravers and die-hard fans alike. You could hear Porter’s crowd scream the lyrics to his songs, in english and their own interpretations of japanese. The show was produced by Ampersand events, the regional promoters for super promoter Disco Donnie, who first started his venture in New Orleans back in the early 90’s.
Outside of the Official Deja Voodoo after-parties, promoters small and large took advantage of one of New Orleans’ biggest party weekends outside of Mardi Gras. Winter Circle Productions, partners of AEG Live produced a massive dance party at their home of Mardi Gras World, where they host their Buku Festival again next March. This year, Winter Circle’s Hell’s Gala featured sets from local New Orleans DJ’s P-TAB, Lleauna, Hyphee and TVBOO as well as DUCKY, Freddy Todd b2b kLL sMTH who opened the room for headliners Chris Lake, and Illenium. Chris Lake has made a massive comeback in house music lately, with incredible tracks like “Turn Off The Lights” featuring Alexis Kelly and “Dance With Me” featuring Walker and Royce. For the harder fans Illenium followed with all the feelings, known for “Leaving” and “Take You Down” it is safe to say Illenium is a worthy headliner and a New Orleans favorite in the electronic dance music scene.
Another unofficial party was hosted by the New Orleans Burning Man Krewe, at a warehouse venue named the “Elephant Collective.” This party was a rare gem for those who were lucky enough to find it, complete with massive spooky decor and hidden themed out rooms that you had to find to enjoy, the psychedelic and New Orleanian vibe was present.
On Sunday night Republic New Orleans hosted a night of Deja Voodoo with Boogie T. Um.. and Boarcrok, a collection of the grimier heavy bass side of Brock Thornton who brought his live trio, Boogie T.Rio to the South Course Stage of Voodoo Music Festival Sunday afternoon. New Orleans born and raised, Boogie T continues to make the rounds of the U.S. festival scene from EDC Las Vegas to Electric Forest, Brock made sure to show love to his hometown during the biggest festival weekend of the year.
Voodoo also carried on with a night of psychedelic Americana fusion with Dirtwire at the House of Blues New Orleans. Dirtwire is a collection of David Satori of Beats Antique, Evan Fraser of Bolo and Mark Reveley of Jed and Lucia. This was a lucky show for those who were attuned to the worldly sounds of Dirtwire.
Sunday night also brought along the revival of Church, a party series that brought their sermon to the Dragon’s Den on Esplanade for seven years straight, at their new home, La Palace, formerly Handsome Willies. Spearheaded by local New Orleans DJ, Erik Browne, AKA “Unikorn Fukr” who opened Voodoo’s Le Plur stage on Friday, *Church made a full comeback with a packed room of house heads for headliner Justin Martin. Justin Martin, the family member of the Dirty Bird Records krewe and known for modern house anthems, “Hello Clouds” and “Don’t Go” played a marathon set that didn’t let up until past eight in the morning.
Whether you were in town for Voodoo festival or already a local of this magical city, New Orleans yet again hosted some of the most incredible parties in the world. New Orleans is largely popular for Mardi Gras, a completely rambunctious and raucous festivity of life, that also deserves it’s claim to fame. However, those who are fortunate to know just how eerily alluring yet dazzling the haunting weekend of Halloween in this city truly is, we’re all keeping their night’s rolling into the early mornings during the Voodoo Music + Arts Festival and the multitude of spin-off parties and events that followed.
What a way to spend Halloween Weekend and excited to see what the creative minds at Voodoo have in store for 2019…
For more info on Voodoo Festival go to: www.voodoofestival.com