Jazz Fest attendance breaks post-Katrina record

Posted on: May 5 2015


NEW ORLEANS - The sun-filled final weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, fueled by performances by Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, Trombone Shorty, T.I., and No Doubt, drew 460,000 fans - the highest attendance total since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Festival organizers released attendance figures late Monday.

The 2015 figure tops last year's estimated crowd of 435,000 people, as well as 2013's crowd of 425,000 (down because of rainy conditions) and the 2012 figure of 450,000.

Historically, the peak for Jazz Fest attendance came in 2001 when an estimated 650,000 people attended.

The festival is held over two weekends, the first of which was drowned by rain this year and forced the shutdown of some stages early.

However, Elton John's performance on the second weekend was sun-kissed. It was preceded by the sounds of piano legend Jerry Lee Lewis and drew thousands to the festival's largest stage.

The large crowd did raise some concerns by festival goers about safety and large crowd conditions, even prompting some to call for a cap on ticket sales each day.