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Jazz Fest goes cashless for 2023

You won't be able to pay with cash at all, including at food vendors.

NEW ORLEANS — We are less than a month away from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicking off. 

Jazz Fest announced it's going cashless this year. 

You won't be able to pay with cash at all, including at food vendors. 

Vance Vaucresson said his family has been dishing up hot sausage and mustard since the festival began 53 years ago. 

“If you really want to know in seven days what Louisiana, New Orleans, the food, the culture and the music’s all about—bring your butt to Jazz Fest," Vaucresson said. 

If you do attend the festival, you'll find every vendor has a point-of-sale system. These systems usually ask if you want to tip. 

“I think you need to be generous," Vaucresson said. 

They also ask how you want to receive your receipt. Usually, your options are email or text. 

“That would be the only place I could see as a bottleneck," Vaucresson said. Otherwise, Vaucresson said it should make things more efficient. 

Vaucresson said it's a trend he's noticed at big events and places such as the Superdome. 

“A lot of people are going cashless. That way you don’t have to get change," Vaucresson said. 

Even at their restaurant, Vaucresson's Creole Cafe & Deli in the 7th Ward, they're already cashless. 

“I can understand why they’re trying to do it, but I’m old school, I like to spend cash," Customer Terroll Jolla said. 

If you do bring cash, the festival will have eight "Cash Exchange" locations throughout the Fair Grounds. 

Your cash will be loaded onto a card that you can use anywhere, and it doesn't cost anything to exchange your money. 

You also may be wondering how the internet will hold up in the sea of cellphones at Jazz Fest. 

According to Jazz Fest, "The Festival has created a new, private network engineered specifically for and dedicated solely to Jazz Fest business during the event."

Meanwhile, at the unofficial Jazz Fest headquarters, Liuzza's by The Track, customers are digesting the change.

“I understand a lot of people don’t like to carry cash, but I think I would rather carry cash then to use my card," Charles Christmas said.

Vaucresson said there shouldn't be any transactional fees passed on to consumers. 

He said they want to see how going cashless goes, and how it impacts lines. According to Vaucresson, Jazz Fest organizers listen to the concerns of vendors and make changes for the upcoming fest. 

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