French Quarter Fest 2017 drew 700,000 attendees

NEW ORLEANS – Benefiting from perfect festival weather and a diverse slate of performers, French Quarter Fest attracted over 700,000 attendees in 2017, down somewhat from 2016’s 760,000 attendance record.

“Visitors came from around the world to join with locals and celebrate our incredible music, food, and culture” President & CEO Emily Madero said. “With roughly 1,700 local musicians, the best of New Orleans was truly on display all four days.”

Attendance for the festival’s opening day was boosted more than 60 percent thanks to the debut of legendary New Orleans singer Aaron Neville.

With more than 40 new musicians making their French Quarter Fest debut in 2017, the record crowds had more musical options than ever before.

There were also more creature comforts on offer than ever before with a new focus on hospitality areas sponsored by the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

“Our GoNOLA + Paris Parker/AVEDA Hospitality Lounge exceeded expectations and was a huge success – we welcomed and interacted with thousands of attendees in an inviting, oasis-like environment,” VP of Marketing and Special Projects for NOTMC Jeremy Cooker said. “We were excited and proud to be part of the re-imagined space that featured a stellar music line-up, and some of the best food at the fest. Our guests raved about the experience and we look forward to building on it for future activations with our partners at French Quarter Festivals, Inc. and Paris Parker.”

The festival marked its 34 year in 2017, and plans are already in the works to make 2018 an even bigger year.

With each success, the city and state benefit from an influx of tourism dollars, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

“French Quarter Festival is important to our city and state,” Landrieu said. “The economic impact of nearly $190 million is tremendous. This home-grown, New Orleans icon in the heart of the Vieux Carre has turned into the largest free music fest in the U.S. and attracted people from all over the world. Aaron Neville’s debut, the improved crowd flow, and perfect weather were just a few ingredients in the perfect recipe that delivered an authentic, unforgettable New Orleans experience.”