New Orleans Jazz Fest 2017 attendance holds steady at 425,000

3 years ago The Times-Picayune 0

New Orleans Jazz Fest drew an estimated 425,000 music and food fans to the Fair Grounds Race Course for the seven-day event, according a press release issued Tuesday (May 10).

Last year, heavy rains and the early closing of the second Saturday of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell likely led to drop in attendance from 2015.

In 2016, 425,000 fans attended, but that was down 35,000 from 2015, when attendance reached 460,000, according to the festival management.

This year, severe weather, with high winds and lightning, caused the festival to open after 3 p.m. on April 30. The festival, which was held April 28 to 30 and May 4 to 7, usually opens at 11 a.m.

The festival opened under rainy skies on May 4 as well, but the rain stopped and the festival saw sunshine and clear skies for the final two days.

Festival management does not release day-by-day attendance figures, but among the biggest attendance days appeared to have been May 5 when Dave Matthews closed out the Acura Stage, May 6 when Stevie Wonder drew a packed crowd to the Acura Stage. Snoop Dogg and Meghan Trainor also played that final Saturday.

In 2018, the 49th annual festival is slated to run April 27-29 and May 4-6 at the Fair Grounds. For more information, visit

The festival, which is owned by the nonprofit New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., raises money to support year-round cultural and education activities in the city. Visit the foundation website to learn more.