NEW ORLEANS -- A new festival serving up jerk chicken on Bob Marley's birthday is getting no love from the deceased singer's family.
On Jan. 1, the NOLA Caribbean Festival announced the first "Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival" celebrating the ties between New Orleans and Jamaican culture, specifically through food. Less than two weeks later, they received "very threatening correspondence" from Marley International promising legal action if they didn't remove Bob Marley's name and likeness from the festival.
According to festival representatives, the threat that Marley International would "pursue all legal channels" against them pushed organizers to re-brand. Now, the "NOLA Jerk Chicken Festival" will take its place with a fresh logo and the same promise: "The best of New Orleans Carnival culture and Jamaican culture."
"New Orleans and Jamaican culture are so intertwined that it’s only fitting that Bob Marley’s birthday falls smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras season," their website reads. "The NOLA Jerk Chicken Festival celebrates Bob’s legacy in a way only New Orleans can, blending the best of both cultures with a fantastic stable of national Reggae bands and DJs as well as New Orleans’ own top brass bands performing Bob Marley hits brass style!"
Marley International, also known as Fifty-Six Hope Road, previously sued Raising Cane's chicken over their use of "One Love," the restaurants slogan and a title of one of Bob Marley's biggest hits. That suit was settled in 2014 on undisclosed terms.
The festival takes place on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 4-10 p.m. at Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart Street). Tickets can be purchased on the NOLA Caribbean Festival's website.