Dig Baton Rouge

Everything you need to know about Bandito Festival this weekend

In a city known for being eclectic, there’s no better way to enjoy summer than mixing a little bit of country, rock-n-roll, south of the border and Americana at the first-ever Bandito Food & Music Festival. The inaugural event will be located at Galvez Plaza – just feet away from the Old State Capitol – on Saturday from noon to 10 pm. Proceeds will benefit Behind the Line Baton Rouge, a non-profit that seeks to make a difference in the lives of First Responders and their families.

The family-friendly, free event will kick off with a competition for Best BBQ and Best Tacos, with vendors trying to impress not only attendees, but also a panel of judges.

Competitors/vendors include:

  • BRQ
  • Dat’z Italian
  • Bumsteers
  • Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine
  • Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar
  • The Big Cheezy
  • Couyon’s
  • Hebert’s Specialty Meats
  • The Rum House
  • Gov’t Taco
Map courtesy of Bandito Festival

Judges will sample each vendor’s entry and announce the winners on the Galvez Plaza stage at 8 pm. Attendees are encouraged to post about their favorites on social media using the hashtag #banditofest.

After you’ve eaten your weight in local cuisine, you can head to the Galvez Plaza stage for the live music lineup, beginning at 1 pm. The schedule* is as follows:

  • Grinders (1-1:30 pm)
  • The Bottle Rockets (2-3 pm)
  • Hitchhiker (3:30-4:15 pm)
  • Shooter Jennings (4:45-6 pm)
  • Son Volt (6:30-8 pm)
  • Old 97s (8:30-10 pm)

Want to briefly break away to beat the heat? Adrian Percy will host Tunica under the Shell at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar from 1-7 pm. The Old State Capitol will also be offering free admission throughout the day.

The festival is offering something for all ages: if you’re bringing the family, you can walk across the street to the Old State Capitol for the Bandito Fest Kids Zone. The area will include face painting, as well as kid-friendly activities hosted by GymFit.

Although the event is free to the public, VIP tickets are available to give attendees exclusive front stage viewing, tented areas with cooling fans, a private bathroom, private cash bars, food and drinks and access to the after party. VIP tickets are limited, and you can purchase them here.

Once the lineup is finished, you can head to Happy’s Irish Pub for the official After Party, featuring Dash Rip Rock. The party starts at 10:30 pm and is ages 21 and up. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance here.

Volunteers for the festival are still needed. Follow Bandito Festival on social media for more information and the most up-to-date changes.

*Performance times are subject to change.

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