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French Quarter Festival Brings Big Business To Local Artists

ReggieGood weather, great food, and free music will bring crowds to the French Quarter this weekend.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter reports on the crowd of artists crammed together while competing to sell their work.

French Quarter Festival is in full swing; full of music, food, and family fun.

“It is an awesome opportunity to experience local vendors, local musicians, and I love it,” festival goer Alex Liopiros said.

It’s the mother of all festivals. It draws hundreds of thousands festival goers from near and far.

That’s why local artists like it.

It gives them a chance to showcase their prized possessions, and the earning potential is huge.

“I love the energy from the people and selling art,” artist Reggie Ford said.

Ford has been selling outside Jackson Square for years. Leah Matchett has too.

Both artists set up early for the Festival. Ford starts around 7 am.

“If you don’t come out three hours in advance you might not get a spot.”

“It’s first come, first served no matter what you do, on the fence it’s only first come first served,” Matchett said.

Here’s why.

The city issues 200 permits, but there are only 88 spaces available.

And if that’s not enough of a challenge, artists without permits are showing up to cash in too.

“Yeah I’ve seen those guys do that unlicensed artists come to sell their goods and stuff,” Ford said.

We saw officials with the French Market keeping watch.

“They’ll check your name, your id and your license and make sure it corresponds with their list,” Ford explained.

“I have a license, my son has a license, and my daughter has an artist license,” Matchett said with confidence.

When it comes to permits, artists without one are not welcome.

“I just feel like they gotta go anywhere but here,” Ford explained. “This is licensed artists and we’re always here so it’s not fair for them to just come in when it’s hot and busy and trying to cash in on all of it.”

Artists have been given extended hours to display their work, from 5am-10pm.

The city prohibits overnight stays.

Artists who camp out overnight risk being issued a citation.

You can contact featured artist Reggie Ford at (504) 228-6968 or http://www.Reggieart.com

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