Welcome to the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest: Mostly the same, but with a big, green difference | The Advocate


When the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest throws open its gates at the Fair Grounds on Friday, early arriving veterans will instantly recognize where they are. The consistency of Jazz Fest is one of its primary attractions, from the handwriting on the stage signs to the location of the Crawfish Monica booths.

But change comes when necessary.

This year, new rules and new infrastructure have been added to the 47th edition of what is now formally the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell. In an effort to alleviate congestion, huge green bleachers, open to all on a first-come, first-served basis, have sprung up alongside the Acura Stage and Congo Square Stage fields.

Blankets and chairs are no longer permitted anywhere on the dirt track that it is supposed to serve as the festival’s circular pedestrian freeway.

And the standing room-only areas in front of the three largest stages have been expanded.

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