Voodoo Festival Hits Record Attendance For A Massive Weekend of Halloween Fun and Music…
The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, now in its 18th year, seems to finally be heading in the right direction with one of its biggest years to date, drawing 150,000 music lovers and Halloween enthusiasts for 3 days of amazing music and tricks and treats, it has cemented itself as one of the world’s best destination festivals. New Orleans is one of the most exciting cities in the world, deep rooted in musical spirit. Who can think of a better place to partake in the Halloween festivities than in Voodoo Country? After last year’s plagued weather challenges, which limited attendance and forced artists to cancel sets and ultimately nixing the third day, this year could not have gone better for Voodoo. The success is mainly due to the powerhouse production team C3 Presents, who was recently acquired by Live Nation, who are the promoters behind Voodoo, Lollapalooza and the double weekend festival, Austin City Limits.
C3 brought their A game to town turning the massive New Orleans City Park into the perfect Halloween musical playground – from the well-thought-out festival layout and creative Halloween inspired stage décor to even having general admission porta potties that flushed as well as separate facilities for both men and women – cutting wait times virtually down to nil. The VIP, Media and Artist areas even got a facelift with special attention to hospitality. Everything seemed well planned, bringing an overall hassle-free experience for everyone and it clearly worked as you could see the smiles everywhere.
The first day of the festival kicked off with perfect weather and stellar performances from English indie rockers Foals, New Orleans’ hip-hop native G-Eazy who did his best Jared Leto Joker impersonation, and the highly anticipated set by The Weeknd. Other highlights from the first day included EDM acts Slander, Porter Robinson, and Carnage.
The second day also started with great weather as fans poured in early to soak up the sunny vibes and catch one memorable performance after another which included a kickoff set by The Pretty Reckless, All Them Witches, The Claypool Lennon Delirium which brought together John Lennon’s youngest son Sean Lennon and Les Claypool, followed by Kentucky rockers Cage The Elephant. But day two belonged to Tool and Die Antwoord, both headlining different stages and depending on your musical preference or if you were like many who wanted to catch both, you had to make a hard choice. Both played to a jam-packed sea of fans, as South Africa’s rave-rap group Die Antwoord got fans into a dance frenzy with band members Ninja and the always entertaining Yolandi Visser trading adrenalin driven vocals. On the opposite end of the park, alt-rock gods, Tool, led by the creative vocal genius of Maynard James Keenan, took die-hard fans on a musical journey with impressive video to match the big sounds.
By the third and final day it was clear that the gods were shining down on Voodoo this year with sunny clear skies and not a drop of rain all weekend. Closing day highlights belonged to Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Tool frontman Maynard Keenan’s side project Puscifer, jam band STS9, Beats Antique, EDM superstar duo The Chainsmokers and of course headliners Arcade Fire, who closed the festival on a high note.
Other festival attractions included great local and international food vendors that served up everything from “Big Easy” favorites like gumbo and barbecued gator to Vietnamese noodle bowls and gourmet hot dogs that even featured a vegan dog. Art installations were everywhere capturing the Halloween theme and spirit including an outlandish and impressive zombie graveyard that had a haunted house, awesome animatronics and even scary actors running around thrilling and chilling fans into the witching hours. But the biggest attraction of all belonged to the thousands of creative fans who went all out with some of the most unique, fun, scary and absurd Halloween costumes and makeup adding to an already outrageously entertaining festival setting.
Like Mardi Gras, Halloween is deeply rooted in the New Orleans’ festive culture and Voodoo has grown to become the perfect music festival and setting to capture the spirit and vibe of this annual holiday tradition and no question should continue to get better for many moons to come.
For more information on Voodoo Music + Arts Experience including 2017 dates please go to: www.VoodooFestival.com