Jazz Fest: Clapton, Bruce, Phish, Arcade Fire

By Jim Stanford on January 14, 2014

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Trey Anastasio at Jazz Fest 2005. Anastasio and Phish will perform during the first weekend.

Is it Jazz Phest yet?

Phish, exiled from the Fairgrounds since 1996, returns for the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, joining the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Alabama Shakes and the Avett Brothers.

These headliners will perform along with dozens of Big Easy luminaries such as Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, The Radiators and Dumpstaphunk with Art Neville. The 45th annual festival takes place April 25 to May 4.

Ticket prices start at $50 per day. More details and daily music lineup are available here.

Jazz Fest is one of the more popular off-season getaways for music-starved, winter-weary Wyomingites, and more than a few were on hand for Phish’s epic 1996 performance at the Fairgrounds. While the Phish Heads were not well received in parts of New Orleans, the experience turned a whole new crowd onto the festival, and fans have returned year after year.

Phish has played New Orleans only once since, but guitarist Trey Anastasio performed at the fest with his side band in 2005, and keyboardist Page McConnell has joined George Porter Jr. and various groupings of the Meters several times.

After a lot of rain and some unusually cold weather last year, Jazz Fest organizers have pulled out all of the stops for 2014. This will be the first time Clapton has played with his band. Whatever the weather brings, fans will be ready. Let it rain, let it rain, let your love rain down on me!

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