At the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival music and food are the tops, wonderful, the best. Usually Louisiana weather the last weekend of April through the first weekend of May is quite pleasant though some years it’s very, very wet and for others its been nothing but scorching bright sun in cloudless skies and dry as a dusty bone. Shade and clean restrooms, especially clean restrooms with short lines, are very hard to find. You’re Porta Potty land.
That said here are my top two personal goto spots for shade, clean restrooms and air conditioning. Enjoy.
1 – The Live Oak – There is a wonderful old oak tree on the path between the GENTILLY STAGE and the LOUISIANA FOLK LIFE VILLAGE. You’ll have a view of the lagoon and interesting crafts and refreshments nearby and a steady stream of people watching traffic. The action at the Gentilly Stage is close enough to hear. With a herb tea, Mango Freeze or cold beer in hand it’s a great place to rest and recharge while reviewing your map and schedule to lay out your plan for the next few hours of fun.
2 – The Allison Miner Stage requires more effort to get to but the reward is worth the trip. It often goes unnoticed the jazz fest is laid out within a course race track and where there’s a race track there are grandstands. The Fairgrounds has both an outdoor section and rising above it is an enclosed level that is a little-known oasis of air-conditioning, clean restrooms and padded seats.
From the grandstands you can see the long lines in front of the Port ‘o Potty’s. Enjoy the spacious restrooms with urinals that a man can stand and truly relax at. And ladies you don’t have to lift the seat or squat and aim. It’s a lady’s room with plenty of proper stalls and clean floors to rest your backpack or purse.
Not too many years ago there was a Gentleman’s restroom attendant offering dabbles of cologne, mouthwashes, mints and counter around the sink was spotless. Well worth a buck tip. It’s doubtful that he was a sanctioned jazz fest volunteer but he sure did add some class to the place.
While you’re relaxing read up on Allison Miner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allison_Miner
It’s very low-key at Allison Miner Stage. They interview performers who, in between questions or as part of the answer play their music. It’s a nice quiet respire regardless of your air conditioning or restroom needs. I recommended it.
Have a happy Fest
Will Norris for New Orleans Music Tours LLC