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BUKU returns as music festivals resume

The festival returns after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.

NEW ORLEANS — Set against the backdrop of the Market Street power plant and the banks of the Mississippi river, you'll find a beautiful festival in March with all the style and pizzazz of its birthplace. BUKU art and music project returns to New Orleans.

The festival is celebrating its 10th year. WWLTV caught up with Co-founder, Dante DiPasquale to discuss how they kept the vibe of the festival going all of these years.

"I mean it really is all about the fans, their creativity, they come here, they let loose they inspire us. The local artist the local musicians it's really just who we're inspired by and we just keep trying to do cool new things, weird things," DiPasquale said.

The festival returns after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.

"It feels really good. There's nothing like this site, it's crazy. We're here in sort of a new part of the site this year the skyline stage where Tame and Tyler are going to play," the co-founder shared.

While music is a big part of the NOLA festival so is the art. 

"I mean it was just sort of important to us to do something beyond just music. The street artists of New Orleans are a big part of the city and we wanted to bring it on site. Half of our audience is coming from out of town, so they might not be used to it and get it so they'll get it here," DiPasquale said.

In fact, if art is what you're looking for BUKU has everything to fill your needs, from graffiti artist, to performers, and art installations that transform ordinary objects into something amazing.

But, wait there's more!

The two day festival has five stages featuring everything from EDM to Hip Hop and Rock.

On the Riverside stage you'll find NOLA's finest. Eyewitness News met with a few of them at the Skyline stage.

"It feels good seeing things bigger and better. Let ya know things are progressing, let ya know things are going to be lit," said recording artist and producer, ZiggMonster.

"Everything is happening for a reason. I put hard work and dedication into it so of course everything is going to come in full circle for me," said writer, singer, and rapper, Odd the Artist.

ZiggMonster and Odd the Artist are both alumni from Upbeat Academy, a music education program co-founded by DiPasquale and his partner Reeves Price.

When we asked Odd what she hopes her audience brings to her set, she gleefully said:

"A good time!"

And the good times will be flowing at the Riverside stage.

On Friday, you can also check out 504ICYGIRL.

"This huge for me! It's very huge. I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life. It feels like a dream. A really good dream," the young artist said.

Her new album, Princess Diaries, dropped just days before the festival on March 23.

"I had to. I had to do it because I was hold out to long BUKU is Friday I gotta give them some new music. I gotta bless my fans with some so I was like it's perfect," she said.

The stage is set and *everyone is ready to perform

"Crazy on that money might put diamonds on that cutter. I could rock a sweater get her wetter than the weather," rapped ZiggMonster in front of the Skyline stage on Thursday.

Close your eyes after reading those lyrics, see the glowing tree installation, hear the pumping music, feel the base, smell the food from the dozens of food stands, feel the positive vibes.

This is the scene at BUKU fest! An experience you're sure to remember.

"I think the next four years are going to be big in New Orleans music for sure," said Co-Founder, Dante DiPasquale.

The BUKU Art and Music Project  kicks off Friday and Saturday 2pm-11pm. Tickets are still available. Stop by The BUKU Project to get your and for more details.

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