Bayou Boogaloo is kicking off this Friday and for the first time ever, you will have to pay an entrance fee if you arrive after 3 p.m.
Festival organizer Jared Zeller says every year it gets harder and harder to pull off a free festival of this size. The last few years, rainy weather left event planners with less revenue than they expected, messing up the projected budget for the festival. Zeller is calling the “free until 3” plan a fair compromise, but he's not sure it's allowed.
“There's still some debate over whether or not a nonprofit can do it, but there is precedent in the past,” Zeller said.
The permit application states this is a free, non-profit festival. Zeller got approval from the previous administration, but so far has yet to hear back from the current administration.
“We’re still figuring it out,” Zeller said.
Some Mid-City residents say an entrance fee seems fair to them.
“They should get some money for putting it on at least,” Summer Upchurch said. “And paying the artists.”
Others don't like the idea of spending money in order to spend more money.
“It's just like an extra charge,” Ashley Vince said.
If you're against paying an entrance fee as well, just make sure you come before they start charging.
“I plan on getting there before 3 but I definitely wouldn't come after 3 to pay $10,” Emma Bologna said. “So I'll have to get there early this year.”
Council member Joseph Giarrusso, who oversees the district, declined to comment.