x
Breaking News
More () »

NOLA festival season has returned despite rising covid numbers

"We're just encouraging to go back to the basics, encourage people to mask up, to stay social distance and to come out and celebrate," Madero said.

NEW ORLEANS — The sound of music, laughter and pure joy filled the air of the old U.S Mint once again for Satchmo Summerfest...honoring jazz legend, Louis Armstrong.

And this year was a special one.

The 21st annual Satchmo Summerfest kicked off Saturday after going virtual last year due to the coronavirus pandemic making this year a special one.

"Listing to live music again, seeing people again, being close to people again it's awesome," said festival attendees, Courtney and Kevin Bates.

The fest returns amid the fourth wave in covid cases.

"We're doing everything that we can to encourage people to come out but do it in a way that keeps the music on the stages and keeps people healthy moving forward," said Emily Madero, French Quarters Festivals Inc.

Prior to Mayor Latoya Cantrell's indoor mask mandate, festival organizers made masks mandatory inside the Jazz Museum.

"We felt really confident and ahead of the curve," Madero said.

Inside The Jazz Museum attendees donned creative masks, capacity limits were in place inside of the theater and seats were placed six feet apart.

"We're just encouraging to go back to the basics, encourage people to mask up, to stay social distance and to come out and celebrate," Madero said.

And folks did celebrate. Attendees enjoyed the music and row of food options on the Mint.

"Beautiful day, beautiful people, great music," said Jean Leow, festival attendee.

Attendees were able to enjoy all of it, at a safe distance.

Since the fest is outside there was plenty of space for people to social distance.

"All of our stages are outdoors. We have a few less vendors here and a little bit more room for people to space out," Madero said.

The fest has a 75 percent capacity, and masks were also recommended in crowded outdoor areas. Though most attendees let their smiles free while at a distance.

Both organizers and attendees helping to bring back the widely loved fest in a safe yet familiar way.

"There's so much joy and wonderful things that we've all missed out on in the last year and we really want to bring this special celebration of Louis Armstrong back to New Orleans, we're thrilled to do it live," said Madero.

Satchmo Summerfest continues Sunday. Admission is $10.

The fest won't kick off Sunday with its usual parade, but, there will be a performance at St. Augustine Catholic Church at 10 a.m.