The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is right around the corner, kicking off on Halloween eve from the amazing city of New Orleans. One of the biggest festivals of the year, Voodoo comes late in the festival season–making it a popular destination for music fans. There are a lot of differences between Voodoo and the host of other festivals that have come and gone this summer, and we're here to help make your trip as easy as possible.
We've devoured the Voodoo FAQ section and used science and technology–along with Google and other convenient websites–to create a survival guide for you. Consider this everything you need to know for Voodoo weekend, all in one convenient place.
When you're done reading through our survival guide and have your game plan set, don't forget to check out everything Voodoo this year including our on-the-ground coverage and interviews.
Voodoo takes place on the festival ground of City Park in New Orleans. If you have a VIP pass, your ticket package may include a parking permit–or you may be able to buy a parking pass. If you have normal credentials, you can buy a parking pass for one of the three parking lots. Check this link for all parking info.
By the way–if you don't purchase a parking pass, be prepared for a tough situation trying to find street parking. You'll be better off using an alternative form of transport if you don't want to throw down for a pass.
You can take a taxi to get dropped off at Voodoo and there will also be a very clearly marked area for picking up taxis when you're leaving. Just remember how many people will be there, though, and plan to fight for cabs. Here is a list of cab companies in the area, all of which were recommended by the festival in previous years:
- United Cabs Co: 504-522-9771
- Checker-Yellow: 504-943-2411
- White Fleet Cab Co: 504-822-3800
- Coleman Cab Co: 504-586-0222
- Yellow-Checker Cabs: 504-525-3311
Ride apps like Uber are an option, but remember that as everyone tries to leave the festival together, it's going to be tough to not only secure a car, but find it amongst the end-of-the-day chaos. We suggest...
Voodoo is operating an official shuttle that leaves at least every 30 minutes between the Hyatt Regency Downtown and the festival grounds this year, and it's pretty affordable. You can get a weekend shuttle pass for $60, which is way cheaper than what you'd pay in car rentals, parking and gas. The best way to find out more about the shuttle is heading to their site.
There’s a streetcar stop located by the festival entrance in front of the Museum of Art. The only problem? There are only two cars that leave after the headliner finishes, so by our calculations that means .10 percent of the crowd can squeeze onto them.
The festival heavily recommends biking to get to City Park, and New Orleans is pretty friendly for cyclists. You should enjoy the ability to get to and from the festival without waiting in any traffic, but make sure you make additional plans if you're going to be drinking throughout the day!
We've searched for a few bike rental spots around City Park on Yelp for you, and don't worry–Voodoo assures that plenty of bike racks will be available. Don't forget your bike lock, though!
WHERE TO STAY
Voodoo partners with tons of New Orleans hotels to offer affordable rates during their festival weekend. You can enter in the dates you want to stay here and check out what they've got!
Air BNB is an innovative alternative to hotels. The site lets people list their extra rooms, apartments, homes, etc., and rent them out for a night, weekend or more. There are still availabilities if you search on there!
Couch Surfing is similar to Air BNB, and you might get the opportunity to stay with someone who is going to Voodoo themselves.
WHAT TO PACK
Don't skimp on what you bring to New Orleans. It's better to be safe and over-prepared than sorry and under-prepared. The weather forecast looks like it's going to be sunny and/or partly sunny with highs in the low 80s.
- Water – Take a water bottle especially if you're planning on standing in line before doors open. Just make sure it's empty when you're ready to enter. Remember, 80-degree weather.
- Cash – Many purchases will require cash, some may accept credit cards. There are ATMs, but transaction fees are no fun.
- Sunscreen (no aerosol cans), bug repellant
- Poncho – Don't be that guy near the front with an umbrella if it starts raining, okay?
- Hand sanitizer – Perhaps the best way to fight off the germs.
- Phone charger – Just in case you need it...and you know you will.
Finally, here are a few notable items that Voodoo does or does not let you bring....these are items that people very often have questions about, and not every festival follows the same protocol:
- YES small, soft backpacks and purses
- YES small blankets and beach towels
- YES small flashlights
- YES backpacks that hold water–but they have to be empty
- YES Collapsible, soft folding chairs
- NO pets
- NO professional audio or video recorders, or still cameras
- NO laser pointers
WHAT TO WEAR
Congratulations! You're going to Voodoo, which means it's actually not going to be blisteringly hot at your festival of choice. The high should be in the mid-80s with lows dipping into the mid-60s. Remember, Voodoo is a rain or shine event!
Also, don't forget the very simple fact that you're going to be in New Orleans! Bourbon Street is barely getting started by the time the festival ends, so remember to bring extra clothes for the nightlife after you've had the chance to shower off your festival day.
- Backpack – Way, way easier to carry than a shoulder bag or holding stuff all day. Bonus points if it's waterproof or water resistant.
- Two pairs of comfortable shoes – Make sure they're already broken in. Nothing worse than getting blisters from a pair of brand-new boots.
- Extra socks – Seriously. You want to walk around in wet socks just in case it rains?
- Costume – The last day of the festival is Halloween! You can guarantee that many attendees will be dressed up to celebrate.
HOW TO HAVE THE MOST FUN
Make a Plan
If you're with a group, make sure you know where you're meeting and when. Do not rely on your cell phone to be working when you need it to! If you're splitting up, chances of your phone dying increase 80%, according to a statistic we made up.
Break Your Plan
Do whatever you want to do! It's going to be one of the funnest times you'll have this year.
Get a Locker
Find out more about those here. Buy all the band merch you want.
Drink Water Constantly
Here's a list of fun things to do in the emergency room after you've passed out from dehydration: [content not found]
Don’t Overdo the Booze
See above with that whole thing about passing out.
Prepare for the Worst
Nice people tend to return lost items or put them in the lost and found. Consider making your name, phone number or a friend's phone number very obviously noticeable on your possessions.
Live in the Moment
Just...like...tweet and Instragram later, okay? Back at the hotel is perfect.
Take Part in the After-Party
If you've never been to Nola, it's quite the city. Plenty of (very) late night options abound, including the very-famous Bourbon Street and the truly fun Frenchman Street, and the place is stocked with great food spots. Eat oysters, eat jambalaya, eat rice and red beans, eat catfish, drink a grenade on Bourbon Street. It's all part of being there and you can sleep on Monday!