Longtime builder Tague Richardson a giant of the fest

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NEW ORLEANS- Putting on the granddaddy of all of our festivals takes a team of hardworking builders, craftsmen, and specialists, but the festival doesn’t build itself.

The man in charge is longtime site director Tague Richardson, “I started in 1974. I’m in charge of all of the structural installation on the site. That would have to do with electrical, plumbing, art, grounds keeping, all of the carpentry work, the stage builders, the food booth builders.”

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Site Director, Tague Richardson (WGNO-TV)

It’s a big undertaking and of course the festival happens in the spring and major consideration is given for the chance of sever weather and how it will affect all those elements.

“What we’ve learned to do is is that as we put something up, we have a team right there that’s ties it down. All of our booths I explained to you are festival frames. We anchor them as we’re building them,” says Richardson.

Those were early lessons learned by producing a bigger fest every year, but as site director, Richardson is also charged with logistics of moving people and making sure that those people can actually hear the artists they came to see.

According to Richardson, “A lot of it has to do with the wind direction. We have Congo Square, which is right behind me, might have Snoop Dogg on it, and over at the Acura Stage you’re gonna have somebody else that’s big. Those 2 sounds up here, and I love it when all of the sounds seems to somehow or another come together up top, and it’s just a whole new type of music.”

“Tague has designed and built every one of these. I think he’s been with the festival 40 years now. So he’s designed and built every one of these things. When I say designed, that has to do with placement, with crowd flow, with function, how can you get the musicians to the stage, every part of it, that’s all Tague,” says Festival Production’s Quint Davis.


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