Cover photo credit: Trish Badger
New Orleans, Louisiana- I had an absolute blast at Voodoo Festival this year. I might even go as far to say it was my favorite festival of the year, and that’s saying a lot considering it rained most of the day Saturday and was canceled Sunday. Weather aside, here’s why I’ll be going back to Voodoo next year and you should too.
It’s all about the music. I know every festival is about the music but you can tell that the people behind the scenes of Voodoo are real music lovers. I love elaborate stage designs and over the top lighting productions as much as anyone and Voodoo had no shortage of that, but here the focus felt much more on the music itself. There is a refreshing range of diversity that few other festivals can touch. This allows you to accidentally catch an artist and fall in love (Metric, Lettuce). Any number of times I found myself torn between different stages trying to decide if I wanted to stay for the end of some killer rap or rock set or to run over and catch some face melting beats at the EDM stage. Experiencing new music is one of my favorite parts of festivals and if variety is something you enjoy you’ll find no shortage of options at Voodoo.
That’s not to say that the music is the only thing Voodoo has to offer. It’s always nice when festivals add little extras between their stages to make the walks more enjoyable. Standard shops and rides are commonplace these days but it was the interactive exhibits that stood out. One was a huge mechanical face behind that together people operate using an array of switches. The absolute highlight though was a huge inflatable dome surrounded by video projectors. Killer projections of smoke, liquid and colorful patterns that bathed the dome from the outside but inside were out of this world. It was large enough to fill your entire field of view and the projections took you on a ten minute ride through space, tunnels and enough tripped out imagery to leave the most seasoned deadhead satisfied. I sure left with a big smile on my face.
Even with proper gear the rain and mud put a bit of a damper on things this year. There was no way to avoid leaving with mud covered shoes and the festival grounds were trashed to the point that Sunday festivities were canceled. Still the event organizers stepped up and immediately issued refunds along with the announcement of the last day cancellation. Bad weather is always a bummer, but there is nothing that can be done and proper action by the organizers made sure that everyone didn’t leave with a bad taste in their mouth. Overall the upsides easily outweighed the down and I know I’ll be back next year.