Pardi-Gras is the center of my universe. My year is built around it. It’s where everything started for me.
2022 will bring the 25th edition of the event. It will be my 17th time to attend, as either a paying fan or as a Krewe Member.
So what is Pardi-Gras?
It’s a 4 day event held each January in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA. It (mostly) caters to fans of genre called Trop Rock. What’s Trop Rock? Think of music done in the style of Jimmy Buffett or the more beachy Kenny Chesney material.
Pardi-Gras has a bit of everything. 25 or so musical performances spread across a half dozen stages. A pub crawl and a parade. We crown a King & Queen. Most years we even build a stage on Bourbon Street and have a Street Party. Yes, literally on Bourbon Street.
It’s crowded. Pardi-Gras is usually attended by 500 or so paying customers. Add in sponsors, krewe, and musicians and you’re suddenly pushing 600 people. And that’s not including all the random people who just happen to be visiting the French Quarter. That’s a lot of people jammed into the relatively small venues we use on Bourbon St.
Pardi-Gras is where I got my feet wet and started learning the basics of event production. The event was founded by my good friend and singer/songwriter Jerry Diaz, who gave me my start in the music business. The entire festival is ran by Jerry, his family, and a small group of friends known as “The Krewe.”
After a few years of attending as a fan I joined the Krewe in 2009. At first I simply learned the basics. I carried gear. Moved speakers. Did basic setup. Then I moved up to the job of “Stage Manager” and started running sound for many of the shows. Fast forward 12 or 13 years and I now coordinate all of the events music while also helping with other aspects of the weekend.
The 2021 edition of Pardi-Gras was held in Galveston, TX due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. That’s an entirely different story that I’ll tell soon enough. For now I’m excited to see Pardi-Gras returning to its home in New Orleans, even though it will be a much smaller gathering in 2022.
Tickets for Pardi-Gras 2022 are on sale now. I hope you’ll join us for a good time on Bourbon Street!