The 50th edition of the New Orleans Jazz Fest kicked off on Thursday and it was a huge success despite the rains which caused a delay.
25-year-old Zack Buda had come to New Orleans all the way from Manhattan with his parents and their friends. He was one of those who danced just a distance away from the main stage in a grassy puddle as Earth, Wind, and Fire rounded off the first day.
Sometimes the young man had to make use of a pair of binoculars to view the performances on the stage. He said that his parents were exposing him to the music of their time. One of his parent’s friends, Amy Bernstein, said she and her husband had attended 15 Newport Folk festivals and now wanted to expose their friends to what they have been missing.
The gates to the show were opened close to 90 minutes late and the group meant to start second opened the show. Many of the acts had to play shorter performances than expected because of the delay.
The number of performers billed to grace the stage and interviews to be carried out far outnumbered the regular. Usually, the cultural exchange pavilion focused on just a single country but this year there were about 150 performers drawn from about 13 countries who were set to perform over the two weekend period fixed for the Jazz Fest.
Despite the rains and wet grounds, people still trooped in, some turning trash bags to impromptu poncho, it was a sight to behold. They weren’t discouraged by the rains and the performers were on top of their game.
The was already out as the last set of performers were onstage and though a few people still held their umbrellas, it was more for boogie and shade purposes.