About New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, and the city’s music is a major contributor to it reputation as a cultural center of the American south. The city is also known for its French and Spanish-inspired art, cuisine, and architecture. New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana.
Champions Square is an outdoor plaza next to the Superdome. The Square is used year-round as a tailgating spot for events at the Superdome, and also features an outdoor amphitheater called Bold Sphere Music. The plaza opened in 2010, and the amphitheater opened in 2014 with a Lana Del Rey concert as the inaugural event. Bold Sphere Music accommodate nearly 10,000 people.
Saenger Theatre, a 1920s movie palace that is now used a concert space, is another popular NOLA venue. It is one of the few Saenger movie palaces still standing, and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The theatre began hosting concerts in the 1980s, and its musical history includes a performance by Styx which was released on film. The theatre closed after Hurricane Katrina but reopened in 2013 after a lengthy rebuild and restoration. The restored Saenger Theatre has a gorgeous, ornate auditorium area that seats 2600.
The famous House of Blues chain has a location in New Orleans. In addition to southern-inspired cuisine and drinks, House of Blues features live music on most days of the week.
New Orleans’ major sports arenas are Smoothie King Center (home of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans) and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints). In addition to sporting events, the two buildings also host some of the area’s largest concerts. Smoothie King Center has hosted dozens of concerts since it opened in 1999. ZZ Top played the arena’s first show. Since then, artists like Billy Joel, Britney Spears, and Selena Gomez have performed at Smoothie King Center. The Superdome has been around since the 70s. The Rolling Stones, along with Van Halen and the Doobie Brothers, played the first concert at the Superdome in 1978.
New Orleans Concert Venues
Champions Square and Bold Sphere Music are located across from the Superdome and around the corner from the Smoothie King Center. These venues are all in the Central Business District.
Saenger Theatre is located on Canal Street, off of Loyola Avenue. It’s just down the street from the Superdome.
House of Blues New Orleans is on Decatur Street, near the French Quarter.
How much do New Orleans concert tickets cost?
The average resale ticket price for a concert ticket in New Orleans in $134, though this may vary by artist and concert location.
New Orleans Music Festivals
New Orleans is a city rich with festivals. One of the best-known festivals in the U.S., the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has taken place every year since 1970. The festival, which is usually simply called “Jazz Fest,” typically takes place from the last weekend in April to the first weekend in May. Though there’s an obvious focus on jazz, many types of New Orleans music are represented including gospel, folk, Latin, and bluegrass. Jazz Fest features both local and nationally-known artists, and it takes place at the New Orleans Fair Grounds. In terms of size and popularity, Jazz Fest is second only to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. In 2006, Jazz Fest famously went on as the city was rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Bruce Springsteen described his performance at Jazz Fest 2006 as the most memorable and emotional of his career.
Voodoo Experience, also called Voodoo Fest, takes place at City Park each year during Halloween weekend. The festival is one the city’s biggest Fall events and attracts artists spanning many genres. Some artists that have played at Voodoo Fest include Snoop Dogg, Rage Against the Machine, KISS, 50 Cent, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Local artists also perform.