NEW ORLEANS - Perfect weather and big name musical acts, some making their first appearance at the event, drew a healthy crowd of 435,000 people to this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, organizers said Friday.
Last year, rainy conditions the first Sunday and between the two weekends dragged the overall attendance figure down to 425,000. This year’s figure is closer to the 2012 crowd at the Fair Grounds, which saw 450,000 attendees for the entire festival.
Historically, the peak for Jazz Fest attendance came in 2001 when an estimated 650,000 people attended.
This year the seven-day festival celebrated its 45th anniversary with a lineup that included headliners Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Phish, Christina Aguilera and a host of local and regional acts on 12 stages. This year, producers also announced that Shell has extended its sponsorship of the event through 2019, when the festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The 2015 Jazz and Heritage Festival is scheduled for April 24 through May 3.