By Chad Hensley
The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience is an annual outdoor music festival in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana. The event, often referred to simply as Voodoo Fest with the catch phrase “Worship the Music,” occurs every year during the last weekend of October in conjunction with Halloween. Voodoo Fest takes place in New Orleans’ historic City Park, amid lush lagoons, bayous and one of the largest collections of oak trees in the world. Since the festival’s conception and debut in 1999, the yearly event has become a tradition to a wide range of music fans, both locally, from all over the country, and internationally for those who travel from around the world to attend.
The festival’s annual line-up features both top-tier and underground artists from a variety of musical genres. This blending of high-profile world renowned bands along with New Orleans’ home town favorites reflects the cultural gumbo that defines the event’s Southern local. Past artists have included Metallica, Kiss, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Eminem, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers along with New Orleans’ own musicians such as Dr. John, Down, Trombone Shorty, Kermit Ruffins, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Star and Dagger, and Rebirth Brass Band, to name but a few.
In 2006, the event introduced three distinct areas within the festival’s landscape: Le Ritual, Le Flambeau and Le Carnival. “Le Ritual” features mainstream music; “Le Flambeau” features music and sounds consistent with the style of The Big Easy; and finally “Le Carnival” features indie bands, burlesque and circus acts. In 2012, evolution of the festival continued as a musical, cultural and immersive experience with the addition of first-ever on site camping. A long time tradition at the most renowned music festivals around the world, the inaugural Voodoo camping experience offers festival goers the chance to sleep under the stars after an intense day of listening to their favorite bands.
The 2014 Voodoo Fest continues the tradition of musical mélange with another diverse line-up of both acclaimed and up and coming artists from a wide range of genres. This year’s internationally famous acts include the Foo Fighters, dark metal masters Slayer, Artic Monkeys, and hip hop duo Outkast. While the list of more independently minded bands consists of the sludgy Melvins, Fishbone, and post-grungers Fuel along with local Nawlins heroes the Soul Rebels, Trombone Shorty, sissy bouncer Big Freedia, Royal Teeth, new wave throwbacks Quintron and Miss Pussycat, and Rebirth Brass Band. Without a doubt, there are plenty of bands playing this year’s festival that are sure to please everyone.
For everything Voodoo, visit worshipthemusic.com.