Jazz Fest Neighborhood Access Passes Stolen, Sold In Faubourg St. John

Some passes have been taken and others have been sold, leaving people who actually live in the neighborhood near the Jazz Fest in a pinch.

NEW ORLEANS - If you try to enter certain streets next to the Fair Grounds during Jazz Fest, on the Esplanade Avenue side, and you don't have a green neighborhood access pass, you will be stopped at a police check point.

It happened to Jamie Gannon Friday morning.

"My dad lives around the corner," Gannon said. "I forgot to get the pass from him, so he has to walk two blocks down to give me the pass to get parking in front of his residence."

Every home inside the triangle-shaped zone in Faubourg St. John gets two access passes.

Former Orleans School Board member Jimmy Fahrenholtz and his wife coordinate the access pass program for the Jazz Fest and the local neighborhood association. He claims some people are profiting from the passes.

"People are actually selling these to vendors, the water vendors that you see back there to allow them to get into the zone or to people operating illegal parking lots," Farenholtz said. "It takes away parking spaces from people who actually live back there."

Alonzo Carrere, who lives in the neighborhood said some residents didn't receive their passes this year.

"They're stealing them out of the mail boxes," Carrere said. "Every mailbox gets two, so some people ended up with none and they're selling them to people who don't even live here."

Kate Olexa has lived on Grand Route St. John in the heart of the Jazz Fest zone for the past 7 years.

She said it's unfortunate what some people are doing with the passes.

"You have to work hard to save places for your family and friends and you get two (passes), but I wouldn't dare sell it because that's for our neighborhood," Olexa said.

Fahrenholtz added that selling the access passes isn't just inconsiderate. 

"It's against the law and they're just making it more and more difficult for other people," Fahrenholtz said. It shouldn't be that way."

According to New Orleans police, nobody has been arrested for selling neighborhood access passes.

But, so far 4 people have been cuffed for scalping Jazz Fest tickets. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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