With a joyous 2022 Carnival season in the books, New Orleanians might be feeling the post-Mardi Gras blues — until one takes a look at the upcoming festival schedule. Last year, most of the city’s springtime festivals were postponed until fall, only for all of them to be canceled in the end. Now, New Orleans is entering another spring festival season with events on track and tickets going on sale, though the future is far from certain — after declaring Mardi Gras 2022 “a success,” the city dropped its indoor mask mandate (before enough time had passed to assess the impact of the festivities on COVID rates).
For now at least, the city’s most famous and cherished celebrations are set to take place in 2022, from Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest to Hogs for the Cause and NOWFE. Here, Eater rounds up all of New Orleans’s upcoming food festivals and events, arranged chronologically.
Crawfish Fest returns to St. Bernard Parish for the 46th time, taking over the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center over three days. In addition to boiled crawfish, crawfish bread, crawfish pasta, crawfish pies, and crawfish jambalaya, the kid-friendly festival features all sorts of “Cajun entertainment.” Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
The fourth year of Bourbon Fest will take place throughout the city, kicking off with a bartender competition at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and culminating with two grand tastings at the Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets range from $59 to $329.
Music, food, and art installations will take place over two days at Mardi Gras World, with headliners Tyler, the Creator, Tame Impala, and Glass Animals.
Armstrong Park will host both the Congo Square Rhythms and Tremé Creole Gumbo festivals, featuring gumbo African dance and drumming, live music, and an arts market. Free to attend.
The annual charity barbecue festival and competition returns to the UNO Lakefront Arena in April with bigger-than-ever music acts. Tickets for the Friday event start at $50 each, Saturday tickets start at $60 each.
The 2022 French Quarter Festival, known as much for the food vendors as the music, returns to its normal springtime dates, featuring 1,800 musicians and 50 participating restaurants.
April 29-May 8
The grand dame of New Orleans’s festival scene returns for the first time since 2019, taking place over the weekends following French Quarter Fest, April 29-31 and May 6-8.
It’s the first year for this new festival, conveniently held at the kid-friendly, outdoor-centric Faubourg Brewery. Tickets are $65 per day or $129 for the weekend; in addition to national and local music acts, there will be a lineup of local food vendors and of course, lots of beer.
The annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo along the banks of the Bayou St. John takes place over three days in May with live music, art, food, and more. Tickets are $35-$45 presale, and $50 at the gate.
This first-year event held at Crescent Park is from the producers of the beloved Top Taco, gathering 40 restaurants that cook classic New Orleans food to compete for Top Traditional Dish, Top Creative Dish, Top Vegetarian Dish, Top Classic Cocktail, Top Creative Cocktail. Pre-sale begins Tuesday, March 8; tickets for the nighttime festival start at $50 (for Top Taco fans) and go up to $125.
This annual Memorial Day weekend festival celebrating the Greek heritage of New Orleans centers around food and drink — think pastries, souvlaki, gyros, and ouzo — but also features dancing, crafts, cathedral tours, and cooking demos. Entrance is $10, children under 12 are admitted for free.
Two full days of live music, food, art, and fun takes place “under the bridge” (on Claiborne Avenue) from St. Ann Street to St. Phillip Street.
Celebrating its 30 year anniversary in 2022, NOWFE returns in June with seminars, wine dinners, brunch events, grand tastings, and the Ella Brennan Award Gala. Tickets go on sale March 10, with grand tastings ranging from $129 to $149.
Top Taco has been a hit since it’s inaugural year, and it continues to be one of the most popular new food festivals in town. This year, the location is still to be determined, but as usual, tickets will include unlimited tacos and drinks from at least 50 local kitchens.
June 30-July 3
With the theme “It’s The Black Joy for Me,” the world-famous 2022 Essence Festival will once again be held in New Orleans this summer, in person, with massive headliners Janet Jackson and Nicki Minaj. Attendees, both virtual and at the live events, can register here, and buy tickets to events here.
The huge cocktail conference that descends on New Orleans every summer will return for its 20th year, with events and programming held throughout the city and at the Ritz-Carlton.
After having to call off 2020 and 2021 events, New Orleans’s ultra-competitive fried chicken festival — sponsored by regional cult favorite Raising Cane’s — is back for 2022, with a new location on the Lakefront (along Lakeshore Drive between Franklin Avenue and the Seabrook Bridge).
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation will again host the annual Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival in Lafayette Square, with music, art, drinks, and of course, barbecue. Vendor and music lineup to be announced.