While the first weekend was nothing but sunshine, it was a long, wet close to the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Nonetheless, the festival managed to stay afloat to the very end. With just a brief halt in Sunday’s early line up, the show finished strong with acts like Neil Young and Trombone Shorty closing out the fest this year.
Unfortunately, the weather did overcome Saturday evening's headliners including Beck, Snoop Dogg and Stevie Wonder. While some sought shelter, the rain didn’t stop fans who never left the Acura Stage until Stevie came out and made the announcement himself. He apologized and graced fans with a short tribute to his late friend, Prince. Fans gathered around the soggy stage and joined Stevie in a rendition of Purple Rain which he led via megaphone.
It just goes to show, not even the opening of the sky with a huge downpour can break the spirit of Jazz Fest. Concert goers were swimming, sliding and paddling through the festival flooding on Saturday and were back to do it again on Sunday.
This year, the festival’s addition of bleachers attempted to ease up the traffic flow. Placed in the back of the Acura stage crowd they provided a nice breeze and an elevated view of performers on both the Acura and Congo Square stages. In the distance you could even make out the downtown skyline. Below, the bleachers are shown as a source of higher ground after Saturday’s storm.
See you next year, Jazz Fest. We’ll be drying off until then!