Swag's Jazzfest FAQ - Tickets

What do tickets cost?

2017 prices are $65 early bird thru Feb 14, $70 in advance, both plus service fees. Gate price is $80 (no fees). Children's tickets (age 2-10) are $5, at the gate only. Under 2 get in free.  It's really a pretty good value when you realize that for that price, you can see many acts, each of whom usually charge $20, $30, $50, $100 or more for their concerts.

There are several acts I want to see at the Festival.  Do I need a separate ticket for each?

One ticket gets you in to the Festival and will let you see as many performers at as many stages as you like.

Do I need a separate ticket for each day?

Yes, each day requires a new ticket.  Note that 1st weekend single-day tickets are good for any day on the 1st weekend.  2nd weekend single-day tickets are good for any day on the 2nd weekend. If you buy the cheaper "weekend packages", those include one ticket for each day, good only for that specific day.

Is there a multi-day festival pass?

Not for general admission. The VIP passes are sold as weekend passes.

If you want to help a good cause, for a $550 donation (price will increase mid-February), WWOZ, a public radio station that's the official station of the Fest, will give you a Brass Pass that give you unlimited entrance for every day of Jazz Fest (including in/out privileges), plus access to the WWOZ Hospitality Tent at the Fest (free water, iced coffee, and fruit; plus slightly cleaner port-o-johns).  The Brass Pass is transferable on a daily basis.  A portion of the cost is tax deductible. Details at wwoz.org.

VIP Packages?

The fest offers three different VIP packages. I describe them here.

Re-entry? Can you leave and get back in on the same day?

No, there is no In and Out allowed with general admission tickets.  Re-entry will require a new ticket. The VIP tickets and the WWOZ Brass Pass do allow free re-entry.

Group Discounts?

If your group will be purchasing 50 or more tickets, call the Festival's Ticket Manager at (504) 410-4100.  The face valuie is not discounted, but there are no per-ticket fees, only $5/order if you pick them up at the Fest office, or another $15 per order if you need them shipped. Early bird pricing applies if bought before the early bird deadline.

Is there reserved seating?

No, it's all general admission. The VIP tickets get you into private areas, but there are no reserved seats there.

Will it sell out?

No, they'll just keep selling tickets and packing them in.  Even when a really popular act plays.  Record single day attendance was 160,000 for the Dave Matthews Band and Mystikal on Second Saturday, 2001 - but that day was an aberration. Elton John day in 2015 probably drew 130,000+, and that's the only other time they've passed 100,000.  The old record was 98,000 on Second Saturday in 1998, when Jimmy Buffett headlined (a great set, by the way).  Typical attendance is 60,000 on a weekday, 80-90,000 on a weekend.   See recent attendance numbers here.

When do tickets go on sale?

Usually the day after the performers are announced.

How do I get advance tickets?

Through Ticketmaster.  Either online or by phone, or in person in the Louisiana area.  With any of these methods, they'll hit you up with a hefty per ticket "convenience" charge ($9.20/ticket for 2014), plus a per-order delivery fee.

Yikes!  I really really really hate Ticketmaster.  How can I avoid their surcharge?

The mail order option to avoid the surcharge has not been offered since 2005. There are four ways to avoid Ticketmaster:

  1. If you are local, or arriving early, New Orleans Arena and Superdome box offices sell advance Fest tickets with as little as a $5/ticket service fee for cash purchases, or $6.95 for credit cards (2017 fees). These must be purchased by the day before each weekend starts (by Thursday for 1st weekend; by Wednesday for 2nd weekend). The box offices close daily at 4:30 pm; hours are sometimes extended on the final day of sales for each weekend.
  2. If you plan to take the "Jazzfest Express" shuttle (see my Transport page for more info), you can buy your Fest ticket from them when you buy the shuttle ticket. They charge no fees. If you buy the shuttle and fest tickets together in advance, you get the advance ticket price. They won't sell you the Fest ticket alone without the shuttle ticket, though.
  3. Group tickets can be purchased directly from the Fest ticket manager (see above). No per ticket fee if buying 50 or more tickets. See Group Tickets above.
  4. At the gate. You lose the advance purchase discount, but there are no fees charged for tickets at the gate.

Hey, Swag, I bought my tickets a while ago, but I haven't gotten them yet, and I leave for New Orleans tomorrow!  What now?

Relax.  Unless you ordered far enough in advance, they hold the tickets at Will-Call.  (If you live outside the USA, they hold them at Will Call no matter how early you order).  There's a Will-Call window at each of the entrances to the Heritage Festival.  Just bring your photo id.

Page last updated February 4, 2017