Holy shit! This is the first event I’ve ever been to where the grounds literally smelled like shit. The Uber driver warned us, in his infections Louisiana drawl, about how shitty the grounds were gonna be and that there was gonna be some big “puhhhdles” but that didn’t prepare us for the shit show that was the Voodoo Festival grounds.
But it wasn’t all bad! It was in New Orleans. My favorite city. New Orleans has this weird relaxed party vibe that no where else gives off. Yes it has it’s trashy spots, but those can be easily avoided. For those of you looking for a change of pace from Bourbon street next time you visit New Orleans, check out Frenchman street. It’s more tame and music focused but still has the drinking in public and bar balconies that makes New Orleans New Orleans. This is where we spent the night we got into New Orleans and it was excellent. Back to our lodging, we had a sweet AirBnB with a pool and bungalow area. Pretty dope!
But!!!!! It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. When we got into the festival Friday afternoon it was a swamp. We all wore shoes we liked and immediately regretted it. The pathways were crowded to the point where no one could move because just beyond them was a good six inches of MUD. Much to the chagrin of my friends and girlfriend, we decided to press on instead of immediately bailing. Mumford and Sons was closing out the night and we had hours to go.
A couple of things that Voodoo Fest did well was their amusements and Art Installations. They had a graveyard/ haunted house area with fully animatronic witches and grim reapers. Very fitting for New Orleans, especially when the festival shared a border with a Cemetery. They also had a couple of carnival rides that you had to pay extra for. I did not do this but appreciated the added ambiance it provided.
First stage we got to was the EDM stage. Having a stage devoted to EDM is a trend that’s been picked up by a lot of festivals recently. It’s a great idea. There’s a large percentage of festival goers that are only there to do drugs and dance. That’s what EDM is good for, so to keep it all in one area as opposed to making these people jump from stage to stage is a great idea. It’s also good for people like myself who are primarily there for other acts, but want to dance/ party in the down time. With this model, I always know there’s an area where I can go to have fun/ find drugs if I feel so inclined. This night, however, I was fulfilled with my weed mints so no extra curriculars for me.
So after chilling and dancing there, we went to find food. Unfortunately the food was located at the aforementioned packed walkway. When we finally broke through, my friends ordered an $18 combo from “The Swamp Kitchen” What they received was 6 small fried morsels. Ripoff would be an understatement. We moshed our way through another line to food that was slightly more cost effective but still didn’t leave feeling great about the offerings overall.
We then went to battle the bathrooms. This is something they could have done better and that’s being generous. First of all they had urinals (a plus) but no one know they were there. They needed larger, lit up signs. Since no one knew about the urinals, the lines for the bathrooms were mobbed with girls and guys. It got so crazy that my girlfriend literally fainted! Not to say there were people fainting left and right, but it was such a mess of people that she got that claustrophobic.
To the med tent we go! These people were nice and accommodating. She was fine, but was understandably shaken so we left with my another couple in our group who were a. not normal festival goers and b. less than enthused with the mud. No Mumford and Sons for us (its ok I’ve seen them twice already, not to brag).
To prepare for the next two days we hit Walmart and found footwear for cheap. I was the proud new owner of $14 black galoshes that went perfectly with my Loki costume for the coming day. We also bout a Sponge Bob piñata and a broom stick to serve as our totem so we could find each other in the festival. If I could recommend one thing about going to a festival it would be to bring a totem or a flag. Other wise it’s a nightmare finding your friends.
Day 2 write up to come.