Sunday, May 13, 2007

Well, another JazzFest has come and gone. We only ended up going once each weekend. The first weekend Greg and I parked in our usual spot - at our friend Daniel's house on Bayou St. John. Daniel commented that he could always tell how crowded it will be by how fast the parking fills up at Cabrini. Cabrini's a private high school and every year for $20 you can park on their property; they really can cram the cars in. It wasn't even noon yet and Cabrini had "lot full" signs up already. It was crowded but the nice weather and the light breeze made it tolerable.

Now, there are two types of Fest goers - the floaters and the parkers. Greg and I are floaters, we travel light and move around from stage to stage. Parkers bring their camp chairs and mini coolers and park themselves in front of one stage for the day. Thankfully Fest officials decreed a no parking area directly in front of stages, AKA the dance floor. It can get really hard to navigate around big congregations of chairs.

Much to my dismay, the Jazz Tent was moved behind Acura stage. We usual avoid the Acura stage; it's the biggest and all the big name headliners play on it so it's always a mob scene. Dr. John was playing this day so we of course had to swing by to catch some of his act. We get a good bit of exercise, bouncing between the Jazz Tent, the Gentilly stage, blues tent, Congo square, etc... I'm not going to do a blow by blow account of what we saw and what we ate, but it was all good. There are photos posted to the JazzFest official website.

The second weekend we also went on Friday-it feels even more decadent to go on a work day. It had poured the night before but the forecast said it would clear up around noon. We grabbed our parkas and drove to Daniel's. Cabrini was only half full and there were still gray clouds in the sky. As soon as we walked through the gates it started to drizzle. We put on our parkas and headed to the food area while most people were rushing to the tents to get out of the rain. Usually, it will rain for a while then clear up. After we ate we went over to the Gentilly stage. Even thought it was drizzling there was still several hundred people there, grooving to the tunes. We joined them. It started to rain harder, then harder, then side ways, but still we all stuck it out. The band cheered our determination and played on until the lightning started - in the distance but still - and power was cut from the outdoor stages. There was a mass exodus to various music tents. We waited for a while are the grandstand, certain that any minute now, it would stop. After 20 minutes it was back to a drizzle up so we decided to walk over to the JazzTent to catch Ellis Marsalis. The tent was over flowing so we stood just outside an opening. A man walking out commented it sounded better out there because there wasn't people talking. The rain continued. We were both completely drenched by this point. I could pour water out of my backpack and every inch of our clothing was sopping wet. My digital camera bit the dust but my phone survived. Ellis finished up and we walked around and hit the port-o-lets. It started to rain really hard ago so we bid our time in the 'lets. That was when I decided I had had enough. It had been raining non-stop for 2 hours and I was freezing cold. I don't think we realized just how hard and long it had been raining. As we drove home, it took three times as long due to all the street flooding.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. As Greg says "a bad day at JazzFest is better than a good day at the office." And next time, I'm putting my camera in a ziplock!