Jazz Fest starts tomorrow, kicking off two long, expensive weekends of a whole lot of music, and almost as much food and drink. The Fess takes over the Fair Grounds, spilling out into the Faubourg St John, but it's big enough that the entire city shifts into Jazz Fest mode for these two weeks. This poses a number of (good) problems for visitors and locals alike. Other than the basic music questions?"Who should I make sure I catch at the Fess?" To which the obvious answer is everyone?people can be left overwhelmed with the options, wondering what the best bets are both during the Fest and across town.
Luckily, everybody (and their mother) is out with SEO-friendly guides to help answer these questions. (This isn't a knock on anyone: Eater has two guides that will run tomorrow.) Of course, the sheer quantity of these guides can become daunting in its own right. So to help sift through all these guides, with a tip of the hat to Eater Austin's stellar coverage of SXSW, here is Eater NOLA's Guide to Jazz Fest Guides.
Ian Hoch's Hit N Run Guide to Jazz Fest: This one is pretty much all anyone needs to navigate the Fair Grounds during Fess. By relabeling the Grounds more descriptively?Icky Sweet Treats, Tasty Foods, Short Beer Lines?this is an invaluable resource. [flickr via NoDef]
Jazz Fest 2012 A to Z: Oh, right, there is music at this thing, too. This is Offbeat's encyclopedic guide to all the acts. Use this as a last-ditch resource for the seriously obscure acts. [Offbeat]
Jazz Fest Parking Primer: Before eating and catching music, of course, how should a person even get to the Fess. The narrow streets of Faubourg St John aren't really designed for all these people, so bike, or be prepared to pay a lot for one of the few spots at Cabrini High. [NoDef]
Feast Through Jazz Fest: This one is less of what to eat and more of how to best pace all that eating. Basically, treat it like a multi-course dinner at a fancy restaurant, except all food is consumed while standing up and sweating like crazy in the sun. [Offbeat]
The 2012 Jazz Fest Food Challenge: GoNOLA decides to treat Jazz Fest like a Man vs. Food-style eating challenge. Even if festival-goers don't treat it like an actual challenge, this is a pretty good guide to the best food in each area. [GoNOLA]
A Closer Look at our Favorite Food: Following that same line of thought, here's the Times-Pic's top choices. Also broken up by food area, this list is so long it's almost overwhelming. But that's sort of the Jazz Fest thing. [TP]
Jazz Feasting: The Gambit's Ian McNulty on what a day of eating at the Jazz Fest entails. Basically it all comes down to this: "It'll be a full day." [Gambit]
An Insider's Guide to New Orleans Jazz Fest: Fodor's doesn't really branch out much in its dining recommendations, suggesting places like Cochon, Commander's, Café du Monde and Port o' Call. The wisdom of going to these places is debatable, though, because they. will. be. packed. [Fodor's]
What You Can't Miss at 2012's New Orleans Jazz Fest: Wanna go more formal? Then try The Grill Room, the Polo Club Lounge or Gautreau's. [Forbes]
Advice for Diners Without Restaurant Reservations During Jazz Fest: Most locals probably fall into this category, but it's good advice for anyone. Considering that this is one of the busiest times all year for restaurants, Brett Anderson addresses the folks who haven't made reservations. [TP]
Chomp Around the Clock: A lot of late night dining happens during Jazz Fest and here are some best bets. [Gambit]
· All Jazz Fest 2012 Coverage [-ENOLA-]