Latest Official Info: http://www.nojazzfest.com/info/faq.php#22
Probably 95% of the vendors return every year, so competition for any openings will be extremely tough. (One year back in the early 70's, there were over 100 applicants for three openings). And if you have county-fair type fair (corn dogs; turkey legs; funnel cakes), don't bother. But if you serve something with a Louisiana / Southern / Carribean / African style, give it a shot.
Prospective food vendors are judged in 3 categories: taste, appearance, and logistics. As far as that last category goes... The typical booth has 2 or 3 serving lines, and if the demand is there, can serve 2-3 people per minute from each, steadily, for 8 hours. So that's 2000-3000 customers or more, on a busy day. If you are used to cooking your food to order, forget it. Most vendors have 2 people taking orders and cash; 2-3 more who plate the food; and a few more in the back who do the cooking. All vendors are located in Fest-provided booths, by the way - you can't serve directly from your catering truck, as at some other Fests.
This was recently posted on the official site:
All applicants must be full-time Louisiana residents.
No self - contained vending structures or vehicles are permitted.
No “carnival food” items will be considered. Each year we get numerous inquiries regarding sales of kettle corn, funnel cakes, hot dogs, and the like. We intentionally avoid this type of food because it is contradictory to the mission of our food fair – to provide an array of foods exemplifying the culinary culture of our region.
Significant experience operating a high volume, high quality food service and/or catering business is an important factor in our selection process. Be prepared to provide references for each event in which you have participated. For our purposes, “large scale” denotes serving a minimum of 2,500 portions per day.
If you are interested in becoming a Jazz Fest Food Vendor for the 2009 Festival, you can contact the food department:
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Attn: Food Department
336 Camp Street ste 250
New Orleans, LA 70130
This page was updated on March 16, 2008