Festivals Media Music Music News Uncategorized

Hoodoo that Voodoo

Magic, music and mayhem is about everything one could anticipate when planning a trip to Voodoo Fest in New Orleans on All Hallows Eve weekend. Wandering the haunted streets of a town whose liberal alcohol consumption laws almost literally allows it to flow like milk and honey is a dangerous thought for anyone looking to rage the dead. But, when it comes to what has in recent past been growing as Americas most decadent and risqué holiday, the combination of these elements posed to be one of the most attractive and wildest parties you could possibly attend throughout the year.

photo by Trish Badger

So, it has been a week since the 2 out of 3 days of Voodoo Fest 2015 have wrapped up (one day lost due to flooding)
flooded 2
and I have been taken my time with digesting the experience and the thought of festival season coming to a close. There were some conflicting factors, however, to the entire fest that it has made my job just a bit more difficult. The only way I can explain it, I feel, is to break it down by category of what makes a festival, a festival.
Location. I think it stands alone to say that you really couldn’t ask for a better place to celebrate a music festival Halloween party. So,…Boom! a winner every year.
photo by Laura Hetzel

photo by Laura Hetzel

photos by Laura Hetzel

photo by Laura Hetzel

People. Over all the crowd was chill not overly rowdy but definitely there to party. The VIP area was a great oasis if you needed a place to sit down or wanted to get mad close to the main stage. But, outside of that, barely any one stayed behind VIP lines. There was so much awesomeness happening on the stages that the intermingling of credentials was like peanut butter and jelly, everyone just melded and it felt good. Beyond that there were some pretty creative costumes. My favorite was actually pretty simple a man with a pair of Ray Bans dressed like a piece of bacon. …hehe…Bacon gets me every time.
photo by Laura Hetzel

Installations. Now, here I can’t say much. There were some interesting pieces, but overall we could tell the money didn’t go into the commissions of new art. Although, I had some high hopes we can’t really say that the “art” side of this experience was breath taking. A metal sculpture of a face, a Spider illuminated from the inside with LEDs and an inflatable Globe that was projected upon by four surrounding visualizers, but that’s it. Maybe, we were spoiled by the E. FOREST, but I couldn’t really sense the focus being on this side of our experience. Although, when you think about it, given the musical history of this great city it really was no surprise.
Logistics. Now, here I was pretty impressed. When first entering City Park you were given a long walk from the transport drop off that took you along a gorgeous lagoon out front of the NOLA Modern Art Museum or under a natural trestle of southern oaks romancing the beauty of this part of our country. Given the way that the perimeter was naturally utilized this helped side step any traffic jams and made the exodus more pleasant than feeling like herded cattle. The same goes for the entrance gate, quick and easy. Bathrooms were a plenty and clean. It didn’t seem that anyone had a problem with this in any way. The grounds themselves were stellar, literally gorgeous. As far as policing, I saw nor heard any problems with security, and if there were, they managed it well enough that no word was spread. As far as health and safety they had Med tents in all corners of the venue, but none of them were filled, so, kudos to the people for not being idiots but also to the staff for giving us a safety net just in case. Also, there were several Handi-impared specialist, volunteers that made the experience of the fest accessible, in multiple stations placed to give even the most mobily restricted individual the best possible time. The vendors were awesome. Mainly fried foods but the selection was worth the food coma. Stages were easy to get to, with minimal sound bleeding between them, but the La Plur (electronic stage) had issues all weekend. Every time we walked up to the stage the sound was low, almost intolerably low. Even during Giorgio Moroder’s set they were working to get the sound up and running. But, to no avail. The rains set in and killed the third day so even if they did figure the problem out we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to experience it. Water was aplenty, (understatement due to the weather) so no one went dehydrated. I think a testament to the organization of Voodoo was that when the weather flooded the grounds on the third day and there, literally, was no way for anyone to enjoy, the organization sent out a notice saying that they would refund one third of the fee to all ticket holders. Well done, given that mother nature was hell bent on keeping everyone out of the park that day.
Finally, music. Lets just say we know where the money went. Given the line up that they had this year, and almost every year before, the acts that Voodoo provides is nothing short of an eclectic treasure trove of sonic candy feeding every shade of your grey matter. Ozzy, Florence, Santigold, Metric, Duke Dumont, Zhu, The Joy Formidable, Lettus, Modest Mouse, Jauz, Django Django, Yelawolf, and the living legend that is Giorgio Moroder (if you don’t know who he is then come out from under that rock and consult the oracle Giorgio Moroder)
Josh Brasted for Livenation_Georgio Maroder 8576
Vood Photo by Josh Brasted

The standout performances were primarily on the ALTER stage. This would be the main event stage for the most part. All the big acts found themselves making their mark on City Park here. Friday night’s headliners brought their “A” game.
photo by Barry Brecheisen

Jack Ü was limited somewhat by the faltering sound of the La Plur stage , while Modest Mouse was as odd and out there as we know and love him to be.
Metric Photo by Laura Hetzel

Earlier Metric and The Joy Formidable (check out their Cheeky interview here)ran you along the edge of rock and a soft space. But, Florence; Florence was as gracefully powerful as ever.
Trish Badger for Live Nation Entertainment-Florence-3257
Photo by Trish Badger

Then, topping it off with Odezsa’s after party at the Joy Theater.
Saturday was just as amazing with Lettuce remaining as crispy as always and Santigold inviting over a hundred audience members to take the stage with her and dance, as she had done the day before at an intimate performance for VH1 Save the Music (see “A Heart of Santigold” article here.) The pinnacle of the entire experience, however, was most anticipated performance of the weekend:
Photo by Barry Brecheisen

photo by Barry Brecheisen

photo by Barry Brecheisen

Ozzy with Geezer Butler, Slash, and Tom Morello. Holy Sh$%! And I mean Holy Sh$%! This was by far the most amazing live show that I had ever seen. The sheer star power on that stage was face melting. This display of artistry was well beyond the depths of years of practice. It was for lack of a better word transcendent and it was the only American date. Truly an honor to have experienced it. We took the chance to speak to a few key artists, over the course of our two days, that we have been keeping gently on our radar as they have been rising in the ranks. I guess overall I can say we had a killer time despite weather and some logistics that could have been smoother, given their fifteenth years. That said, I would definitely go back and re-rage the dead in NOLA.

Events Festivals Music News


unnamed (2)
Magic, Masquerades, Music, and Mayhem have long been associated with
New Orleans’s culture. It is no surprise that we find ourselves entering into this old
historic city on the weekend of All Hallows Eve to Worship the Music in one of
America’s strongest growing traditions, VooDoo Fest. With the exception of
2005, when Katrina destructively descended upon the city, the bayou has had its
waters rippled with the sounds of heavy weights since 2000 A.D.
Now, as Voo Doo Fest approaches its 15th annual celebration and it seems that the
strength of this years line up was curated to draw spirits from all corners of the
country. Eclectically speaking, this line up is all across the board, and I am mad
curious to see how they blend.
unnamed (1)
Combining deadmau5 on a roster with Jack Ü, Alesso, the great Giorgio
Moroder, Santigold, Duke Dumont, Destructo, along with growing acts like Jauz, Nina
Las Vegas, Mija and Joywave is like handing out electronic ear sugar to a sea of candy
ravers. Ozzy will be gracing us with his unholy presence while Florence and the Machine
spreads her glowing wings once a gain to a crowd of thousands. Modest Mouse,
Jane’s Addiction, Girl Talk, Metric, The Joy Formidable, Django Django and Peaches
will haunt our hipsters.
For anyone going here is a quick survival guide that will help you through the weekend:
If you haven’t yet booked your air travel, you’re kind of cutting it close!
Voodoo takes place on the festival ground of City Park in New Orleans. If you have a VIP pass, your ticket package may include a parking permit–or you may be able to buy a parking pass. If you are general there are pay for parking areas outlined on the maps you will find on the cite
Parking: Parking lots from 5-15 minute walk from the festival range from $60-$100. Shuttles look to be the most cost-effective option. Map below
By the way–if you don’t purchase a parking pass, be prepared for a nightmarish situation trying to find street parking. You’ll be better off using an alternative form of transport if you don’t want to throw down for a pass.
You can take a taxi to get dropped off at Voodoo and there will also be a very clearly marked area for picking up taxis when you’re leaving. Just remember how many people will be there, though, and plan to fight for cabs. Here is a list of cab companies in the area, all of which were recommended by the festival in previous years:

  • United Cabs Co: 504-522-9771
  • Checker-Yellow: 504-943-2411
  • White Fleet Cab Co: 504-822-3800
  • Coleman Cab Co: 504-586-0222
  • Yellow-Checker Cabs: 504-525-3311

Also UBER can be helpful here.
Public Transit
There’s a streetcar stop located by the festival entrance in front of the Museum of Art. The only problem? There are only two cars that leave after the headliner finishes, so by our calculations that means .10 percent of the crowd can squeeze onto them.
The festival heavily recommends biking to get to City Park, and New Orleans is pretty friendly for cyclists. You should enjoy the ability to get to and from the festival without waiting in any traffic, but make sure you make additional plans if you’re going to be drinking throughout the day!
Voodoo partners with tons of New Orleans hotels to offer affordable rates during their festival weekend. You can enter in the dates you want to stay here and check out what they’ve got!
Voodoo offers camping. Clicking on that link will give you all the info you need and lead you to a site where you can purchase camping passes. If you decide to go this route, don’t forget to bring extra cushions for sleeping–no one likes to be sore when they wake up–and plenty of water!
Alternative Lodging
Air BNB is an innovative alternative to hotels. The site lets people list their extra rooms, apartments, homes, etc., and rent them out for a night, weekend or more. There are still availabilities if you search on there!
Couch Surfing is similar to Air BNB, and you might get the opportunity to stay with someone who is going to Voodoo themselves.
Maybe this is a bit of a “duh” suggestion, but send out a tweet or two–you probably don’t know everyone following you and maybe a friend can help!
Don’t skimp on what you bring to New Orleans. It’s better to be safe and over-prepared than sorry and under-prepared.

  • Water – Take a water bottle especially if you’re planning on standing in line before doors open.
  • Cash – Most purchases will require cash. There are ATMs, but you’ll have to sacrifice your children in transaction fees.
  • Sunscreen (no aerosol cans), bug repellant
  • Poncho – Don’t be that guy near the front with an umbrella if it starts raining, okay?
  • Hand sanitizer – Perhaps the best way to fight off the germs.
  • Phone charger – Just in case you need it…and you know you will.

Finally, here are a few notable items that Voodoo does or does not let you bring….these are items that people very often have questions about, and not every festival follows the same protocol:

  • YES small, soft backpacks and purses
  • YES small blankets and beach towels
  • YES small flashlights
  • YES backpacks that hold water–but they have to be empty
  • YES Collapsible, soft folding chairs
  • NO tents (except in designated camping areas)
  • NO pets
  • NO audio or video recorders, or still cameras with lenses longer than 4 inches
  • NO laser pointers

Congratulations! You’re going to Voodoo, which means it’s actually not going to be blisteringly hot at your festival of choice. The high should be in the mid-70s with lows dipping into the 60s. Remember, Voodoo is a rain or shine event!
Also, don’t forget the very simple fact that you’re going to be in New Orleans! Bourbon Street is barely getting started by the time the festival ends, so remember to bring extra clothes for the nightlife after you’ve had the chance to shower off your festival day.

  • Backpack – Way, way easier to carry than a shoulder bag or holding stuff all day.
  • Two pairs of comfortable shoes – Make sure they’re already broken in. Nothing worse than getting blisters from a pair of brand-new boots.
  • Shorts – At least for the daytime. It’s not so hot that pants will be miserable, but we’re worried about the possibility of rain when it comes to jeans.
  • Watch – Your iPhone won’t last forever, you know, so just check your wrist instead
  • Extra socks – Seriously. You want to walk around in wet socks all day if it rains?
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Costume

 Drink Water Constantly
Here’s a list of fun things to do in the emergency room after you’ve passed out from dehydration: [content not found]
Overdo the Booze 
See above with that whole thing about passing out.
Prepare for the Worst 
Nice people tend to return lost items or put them in the lost and found. Consider making your name, phone number or a friend’s phone number very obviously noticeable on your possessions.
With so many different sounds coming from such a heavy hitting line up, along with
visionary artist decorating the grounds with installation , and deadmau5
unveiling a new futuristic staging, Voodoo Fest 2015 is probably the best way
anyone could finish out this years festival season. Being that is mere minutes from
the French Quarter in a city whose bars just don’t close, you can bet there will a lot of
pranking and rebel rousing as swarm of costumed and candy masked mischief makers
fill the city for this unholy weekend. So, if you find yourself down in
New Orleans make sure not to miss this deadly dance party, it might just haunt you
for the rest of you life…….
Check it out:
unnamed (3)