Bayou Boogaloo Returns to Mid-City This May

Bayou Boogaloo
Photo courtesy of Bayou Boogaloo

One of the standouts in the seemingly never-ending string of festivals New Orleans hosts all year round is the Bayou Boogaloo, which grew from the post-Katrina scrappy little neighborhood festival to a multi-stage, weekend-long extravaganza.

Since its inception in 2006, Bayou Boogaloo now draws upwards of 35,000 people and has become as much a fixture on the festival calendar as its Mid-City neighbor, Jazz Fest, and the city’s street-party season opener, French Quarter Fest.

Also a favorite of both the locals and the in-the-know visitors, this festival takes place not in the French Quarter but on the sprawling, picturesque banks of Bayou St. John — between Dumaine Streets and Lafitte Avenue in the Mid-City neighborhood. Its bucolic setting as a floating party, with its flotillas of inflatables, paddle boats, and kayaks, gives the three-day festival its own unique character.

Bayou Boogaloo 2024

This year, Bayou Boogaloo takes place between Friday, May 17, and Sunday, May 19, 2024. Just like in previous years, the festival is kid-friendly. Traditionally, the Boogaloo focused on mostly local music, including the best of the brass bands, zydeco, Mardi Gras Indians, and other incredible New Orleans and Louisiana acts.

This year’s headliners include former Prince bassist Nik West on Friday, founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan GZA with his band GZA & the Phunky Nomads on Saturday, and Lez Zeppelin on Sunday. The lineup also includes Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Afroman, Buckwheat Zydeco Jr., and many more. Notably, this year the festival cast a wider net over many musical genres and added metal, more hip-hop, and more cabaret acts.

In addition to two music stages and a Comedy & Cabaret tent, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo features a curated art market, a Kid’s Cultural Pavilion, a VIP Crescent 9 Canopy Club, a crawfish eating contest, and food from numerous Mid-City and local vendors. This year, Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries will be on-site keeping an eye on water safety, but with a baby alligator petting zoo in tow. (People in boats and rafts are expected to wear life jackets and follow other boating guidelines.)

The food and beverage vendor list is as varied as in previous years and includes Ajun Cajun, Bub’s NOLA, Clesi’s Seafood Restaurant and Catering, Fritai, T-Swirl Crepe, and more. Look for snowball and lemonade booths, and plenty of booths with adult beverages from neighborhood favorite Pal’s, local breweries, and others.

You can currently order the 2024 festival poster online.

How Much Does It Cost?

Single-day tickets, good for any day of the festival, are now available for $15.00 and will increase in price on April 22. Also available for purchase now are three-day weekend GA passes for $39.50. As always, kids 12 and under are granted free admission.

Additionally, three-day Crescent 9 Canopy Club VIP passes are available for $220.00 each. These passes allow re-entry plus access to the Crescent 9 Canopy Club VIP area, which is a shaded oasis next to the stage with front stage access, an elevated viewing deck, private restrooms with AC, and a selection of complimentary beverages and local eats.

All tickets and passes will increase in price once more on May 13, the Monday before the Boogaloo weekend kicks off. To purchase tickets, go to

Festival-goers who look forward to boating and floating on Boogaloo days will need a regular-priced ticket to the festival for entry, which includes a $2.00 environmental fee that goes to preserving and protecting Bayou St. John. Anyone who wants to build and place a DIY barge in the water will be subject to a $100.00 removal fee if the barge is left in the bayou more than 24 hours after the festival ends.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Street parking in the neighborhood is limited, so biking is encouraged (there’s plenty of bike parking at the fest). Thanks to the city’s added bike routes, including Lafitte Greenway, you can ride your bicycle all the way to the festival from virtually every corner of the city.

Alternatively, you can come by canoe, kayak, or other paddle-friendly vessel. Dock at the Dumaine Street stage or just keep paddling into the heart of the festival at Orleans Avenue. Another way to reach the fest is by taking a streetcar. Two lines stop a short walk away from the festival, Canal Streetcar: City Park/Museum, and Cemeteries Canal Street.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Please note that only weekend and Canopy Club ticket holders are allowed re-entry.

Chairs are welcome (look out for the “no chair zones” in front of each stage designated for dancing), but no outside food or drink, please. No pets are allowed.

Finally, although you will see some festival attendees splashing happily in the bayou, there are gators, snakes, and sharp debris like car parts and tree branches in the bayou, so swimming is highly discouraged. Plus, there are no lifeguards on duty, and a whole lot of drinking.

To get updates on the music and vendor lists for this year, check out the Bayou Boogaloo website or the festival’s Facebook page.

Are you visiting this spring and planning on attending Bayou Boogaloo? We got you covered! Check out our top recommendations for hotels in the French Quarter.