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New Orleans rap artists to headline Bayou Boogaloo

Liz Grippe and Joe Barre III dance to the Cha Wa Band at the Lafitte Stage in 2018. (Zach Brien, Mid-City Messenger file photo)

The New Orleans hip-hop scene will be well-represented at the 2023 Bayou Boogaloo. The organizers of the spring festival on Bayou St. John announced Tuesday (Jan. 25) that rapper and Cash Money Records alum Juvenile will headline, joined by bounce artists Partners N Crime and DJ Jubilee.

The 16th Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo returns to the banks and waters of the bayou from May 19 to May 21.

A New Orleans rapper and performance artist, the feminist-burlesque innovator Boyfriend, will also take the stage. Other local musical acts include swamp funk band The Iceman Special, brass funk rockers Bonerama, Rebirth Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, the genre-bending Bon Bon Vivant, the Mardi Gras Indian band The Rumble, the Johnny Sansone Band, Marcella Simien, Tasche & The Psychedelic Roaches, The Quickening, the People Museum and NOLA School of Rock.

Juvenile (Courtesy of Bayou Boogaloo)

Headliners also include The Yonder Mountain String Band, a progressive bluegrass band from Colorado and psycho-billy trio Reverend Horton Heat from Texas. Soul artist Eddie 9V from Atlanta, hip-hop tribute band Low End Theory Players, rapper Dinny Skip, and Southern soul rockers Them Ol’ Ghosts will also be featured.

New to the festival this year is the introduction of a comedy stage. That stage will be headlined by New Orleans native Sean Patton, hot off the heels of his debut special “Sean Patton: Number One,” which is streaming on Peacock.

Other comedians performing on this stage, formerly known as the Lafitte Stage, include Rude Jude, Vincent Zambon, Kymbra Li, Mark Caesar, JQ Palms & Thomas Jones, and Isaac Kozell & Geoffrey Gauchet.

Sean Patton (Courtesy of Bayou Boogaloo)

Also new this year, Krewe de Void will take over the Dumaine stage on Saturday, May 20, with their own curated line-up and installations — plus a yoga session. Krewe de Void hosts the annual Fête du Void in Oakdale, an annual two day camping, music and arts getaway led by The Iceman Special.

In addition to music on two stages and a comedy stage, Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo boasts a curated arts market, a kids’ tent and crafts area, a VIP Canopy Club, and food from over 20 local vendors. The festival is also known for its paddling and yoga activities.

Three-day weekend tickets are now available for $25. This is a general admission weekend pass with in and out privileges. The price will increase to $50 closer to the festival. Kids under 12 are free.

Single day tickets will be available beginning on March 1 and will cost $15. One single-day ticket provides admission on any of the three days.

Also available for purchase now are three-day Canopy Club passes for $179 each. Canopy Club passes allow re-entry plus access to the Canopy Club VIP area, which is a shaded oasis next to the stage with comfortable seating, front stage access, an elevated viewing deck, private restrooms and complimentary beverages and local fare.

Boaters enjoying the festival from the bayou will pay an admission fee. (Bayou Boogaloo photo)

Festival-goers planning to boat or float on the bayou during Boogaloo days will use one central entrance gate for boats, floats, canoes, kayaks and barges. Every festival attendee on the water will need a regular-priced ticket to the festival for entry, which includes a $2 environmental fee that goes to preserving and protecting Bayou St. John.

Anyone who puts a homemade barge in the water will be required to leave a $100 deposit, which will be refunded upon the user’s removal of the barge.

To purchase tickets, go to www.thebayouboogaloo.com. Funds raised by The Mid City Bayou support a clean and healthy Bayou St. John.

For information on the festival organizers, the nonprofit Friends of Bayou St. John, go to www.bayoustjohn.org.

Bayou Boogaloo provides an opportunity for local painters, photographers, sculptors and more to sell their creations. (Mid-City Messenger file photo)

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this report stated it’s the 17th Bayou Boogaloo. The 2023 festival is the 16th.

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