The 2017 Jazz and Heritage Festival kicked off in New Orleans on Friday, Apr. 28.

JAZZ FEST KICKS OFF IN NEW ORLEANS

Thousands from around the globe flew in to experience the eclectic food and music. Artists like Nas, Maroon 5, Stevie WonderCorinne Bailey RaeKermit RuffinsAaron Neville, and Harry Connick, Jr. are in town to celebrate and perform. This year, the Cultural Exchange Pavillion is bigger and will celebrate the sounds and culture of Cuba. Visit the official website for the complete lineup.

“I have a team that places trailers … a team that does nothing but do steps, a team that does nothing but do booths, a team that builds stages, an electrical team, a plumbing team,” says site director Tague Richardson. “Then the art comes in and dresses everything up. So it’s a very well-choreographed project.”

Last year, there were issues with drainage, as a storm hit during the second week of the festival. Richardson seems to think this year will be better. “Every year I come out and I do a little bit more blacktopping, trying to get another T-shirt booth or beer booth or something on the blacktop. And as I do that, I pick up a lot of spoils, they call them, from the dirt that comes from that,” he said. “I use that and create high spots and ridges so that we can contour and get the water out of here quicker.”

Parking will be limited, so participants are encouraged to use public transportation, or Uber or Lyft. A Jazz Fest Express shuttle service will also e offered from 10:30 am until 7:00 pm and will stop at various locations.