Spring has sprung and festival season is in full swing. This month, French Quarter Festival takes over our old city center, and Jazz Fest kicks off with its first weekend. Plus, Wednesday at the Square, Stevie Knicks, and so much more. Check out everything happening this month in NOLA down below.
Here’s What’s Happening This Month in NOLA (April 2023)
1.) Wednesday at the Square Concert Series
Wednesday at the Square is a series of free outdoor concerts featuring well-known local artists. The weekly concert series highlights a variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, swamp-pop, Latin rhythms, and more. New Orleans’ most famous brass bands are known to play at this annual concert series. Plus, admission is FREE and open to the public. All around Lafayette Square are food and beverage booths offering local culinary specialties.
2.) Gay Easter Parade Weekend
In New Orleans, every gathering is an occasion for glitz and glamour—but Gay Easter is a showstopper even by our standards. There are three signature events to look forward to over Easter Weekend. The festivities kick off on Good Friday with Bunnies in the Big Easy, a gay soiree featuring live entertainment, an open bar, raffles, and of course, plenty of bunny boys. On Easter Sunday morning, the annual Chris Owens Easter Parade rolls through the French Quarter at 1 p.m. The Gay Easter Parade is also held on Easter Sunday and begins at 5:30 p.m.
3.) Crescent City Classic
The annual Crescent City Classic is not only a great physical challenge but a fun, local tradition as well. Held on the Saturday before Easter, amateur and professional runners alike unite for New Orleans’ signature 10k race. Some dress in Easter-themed costumes while others come decked out in full workout attire, but all have a good time for a good cause. The 2023 Crescent City Classic takes place Saturday, April 8 with a two-day health expo leading up to the race.
4.) French Quarter Festival
Typically held in April, the 2023 French Quarter Festival returns this Spring, April 13-16. Each year, thousands of attendees from near and far make their way to New Orleans’ historic French Quarter for the annual festival. This massive celebration highlights the food, music, art, and culture of this beloved neighborhood. From the Riverfront all the way to Jackson Square guests can indulge in countless local bites, live music performances, and special events and activities.
5.) Zurich Golf Classic
In late April, join some of your favorite players at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans, one of the most fun tournaments on the PGA tour. Played on the emerald grass of the Tournament Players Club Louisiana in Avondale, about 15 miles from downtown. While you watch, you can enjoy Louisiana classics such as Gulf shrimp and freshly shucked oysters in air-conditioned tents at some of the holes – as long as you don’t slurp too loud. And after the last hole, the quiet signs come down and the live music comes up.
6.) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Featuring an endless amount of music, succulent local and regional delicacies, one-of-a-kind handmade arts and crafts, second-line parades and so much more – there is something for everyone at Jazz Fest! With 13 stages of soul-stirring music—jazz, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, blues, R&B, rock, funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, folk, and much more—the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a massive celebration. The event has showcased most of the great artists of New Orleans and Louisiana of the last half-century. This year, headliners include Dead & Company, Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, Santana, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Jill Scott, Jon Batiste, H.E.R., Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Steve Miller Band, and so many more.
7.) Seven Lions at The Fillmore
8.) Pouya at The Fillmore
Known for his versatile style of trap, punk, and metal, Pouya is regarded as a trailblazer of the underground rap movement that emerged on SoundCloud in the 2010s. His lyrics are raw and honest, touching on topics like mental health, relationships, and the struggles of everyday life. This month, Pouya and his trope of musical friends will be in New Orleans performing at the Fillmore on their new All But 6 tour.
9.) Big Wild at Joy Theater
Jackson Stell, known by his stage name of Big Wild, is an American electronic producer, composer, vocalist, and sound engineer. As a performer, his live shows often consist of switching between multiple instruments (drum pads, synths, keyboards, and live vocals). This month, along with special guest Bay Ledges, he’ll bring the Efferusphere is Here tour to the Joy Theater.
10.) Rico Nasty at Republic NOLA
Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly, known professionally as Rico Nasty, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Maryland. She rose to prominence in 2018 with singles such as “Smack a Bitch” and “Poppin”. While in high school, Rico Nasty began self-releasing content in 2014. She gained a local, underground following with SoundCloud singles such as “iCarly” and “Hey Arnold”. After gaining wider recognition in 2018, she signed with Atlantic Records. Rico Nasty’s debut studio album, Nightmare Vacation. This month, she joins the Monster Energy Outbreak tour for a performance at Republic NOLA.
12.) Stevie Knicks at Smoothie King Center
Following her highly successful 2022 shows, legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks has extended her touring run into 2023 with fourteen performances across the U.S.. Produced by Live Nation, the tour comes to New Orleans on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
13.) Big Freedia & the LPO
What happens when the Queen of Bounce links up with her hometown orchestra for a concert? You already know! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when Big Freedia joins the LPO to celebrate 20 years of redefining how we view music. Known as the Queen of Bounce music, Big Freedia is a New Orleans-based hip-hop artist and worldwide ambassador of bounce music. With the LPO, she will share a twenty-year retrospective as well as new music.
14.) Ween – Fest After Dark
Ween is an American rock band from New Hope, Pennsylvania, formed in 1984 by Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo. Generally categorized as an alternative rock band, the band is known for its irreverent, highly eclectic catalog of songs inspired by funk, soul, country, gospel, prog, psychedelia, R&B, heavy metal, and punk rock. See Ween live at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown New Orleans in a TWO-Night Special Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29th.
15.) Moulin Rouge the Musical
Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Welcome to MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® winner Alex Timbers, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and—above all—Love.