By Catie Santos
The 2014 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, more commonly referred to as Voodoo or Voodoo Fest, will take place Halloween weekend in New Orleans’ City Park. Every year, thousands of music-lovers flock to New Orleans to “worship the music” as they experience the three-day voodoo-themed festival.
This is the second year Voodoo Fest will be staged in City Park’s permanent Festival Grounds, a vast, beautiful spread of land near Interstate 610 and Wisner Boulevard. For 16 years, Voodoo Fest has occupied a variety of spaces in City Park and has proven itself time and time again to be one of the most lucrative events for the park.
This will be the first Voodoo Fest entirely under Live Nation Entertainment. Last year, founder Steve Rehage sold Live Nation Entertainment a majority stake in the festival last year and became the president of their North American festivals division, and now oversees Voodoo Fest as well as many other festivals across the continent.
Voodoo Fest begins on Friday, October 31, and will provide more treats than tricks for its festivalgoers. American punk rock band Rise Against will play on the main stage at 6 p.m., followed by metal band Slayer at 7:30 p.m. Electronic music duo Galantis will perform at 6:15 p.m. on the electronic dance music stage, Le Plur. Rapper Action Bronson will perform at 7 p.m., and New Orleans’ own Rebirth Brass Band will play at 8 p.m. Outkast, who reunited late last year, headline Halloween evening and begin at 9:20 p.m.
Saturday, November 1 is the strongest day by far and is jam-packed with performers, starting at 3 p.m. with New Orleans-based funk rock band Flow Tribe. At 4, punk band Death from Above 1979 will play, followed by R&B icon Ms. Lauryn Hill at 6. City and Colour plays at 7:30, and Flux Pavilion and Thirty Seconds to Mars quickly follow at 7:45. New Orleans sissy bounce artist and reality TV star Big Freedia and EDM superstar Skrillex both start at 9, with the Arctic Monkeys closing out the fest at 9. The wide variety of artists playing back-to-back will surely make Saturday the busiest and most memorable.
The Fest will still go strong on Sunday, November 2. Awolnation will return to the Fest for their second year and play at 3:15 p.m. Performer Griz will play at 5 the same time the Manchester Orchestra begins its set. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue play at 4 on the main stage and set the way for the Foo Fighters to close out the festival. The Foo Fighters are one of the most anticipated sets. They last performed in New Orleans at Preservation Hall in May and were joined onstage by Trombone Shorty, so it is almost guaranteed that he will join the band again on stage.
The wide variety of artists at Voodoo Fest this year is sure to draw music lovers of all varieties. Candace Navarre, 19, has been to other music festivals and is attending her first Voodoo Fest this year. “I’m definitely looking forward to the different music genres,” said Navarre, “I can’t wait to see all the different genres come together for one big festival.”
For others, Voodoo is about more than just the music. Jennifer Gabb, 19, a public relation and political science major at LSU, says attending Voodoo Fest with a large group of her friends every year has become a tradition. “We love to do these huge group costumes and just walk in a big mob from concert to concert and have a great time listening to our favorite bands and bands we’ve never heard of,” Gabb says. “I am just really looking forward to getting to really see all of my people!”
Oct. 31 – Nov. 2
New Orleans’ City Park