Sunscreen, a Sit-Upon, and E-Juice Should Be in Your Satchel
When Bayou Boogaloo first launched in 2006, it was little more than a neighborhood picnic with dogs, Frisbees, and kayaks galore. Since then, it has morphed into a three-day, four-stage festival that attracts upwards of 35,000 lovers of warm weather, food, live music, crafts, and water. Today, we'll suggest a few essentials you'll need to have to maximize your fun in the sun at this year's Bayou Boogaloo, which takes over Bayou St. John May 17-19.
A Bike and/or a Boat
Neighborhood parking will be in high demand -- and it's easy to get ticketed -- so your best transportation bet is a bike. Ride your own or grab one of the city's Blue Bikes, which are located at two hubs by the festival grounds (shown on this Bayou Boogaloo map). Bayou St. John is a stone's throw from the Lafitte Greenway, making it a very bikeable or walkable destination.
If you do insist on driving, you can sometimes find a parking spot at the Winn Dixie or Rouses on Carrollton Avenue, which have the added benefit of being right next to the Lafitte Greenway. Plus, you can stop in and grab another essential: sunscreen! Just make sure that you don't bring food. The free festival supports itself through its vendor sales, and outside food and drink aren't allowed on the grounds. But with such a stellar lineup of food ranging from crepes and empanadas to grilled tacos and pralines, you won't want to ruin your appetite, anyway.
It should go without saying that the festival is BYOB (bring your own boat). If you want to enjoy the music from the water, make the necessary arrangements, or befriend someone who has.
While smoking isn't expressly prohibited at Bayou Boogaloo, it's bad form to light up at a family-friendly festival (about one in four participants bring a child, according to the festival's website, and kid-friendly programming abounds at the Ruby Slipper Cafe Kids Stage). Stop by Mushroom New Orleans for a device that delivers nicotine without the harmful secondhand smoke. From SMOK to Suorin, we have a device you're sure to love.
A Leash (for Dogs) and a Life Jacket (for Humans)
If you plan to take to the water in a kayak, canoe, raft, or other craft, festival rules require you to wear a life jacket. Swimming is highly discouraged. There's no lifeguard on duty, and the water in Bayou St. John is less than pristine. Dogs are allowed, but be sure to keep Fido on a leash.
A Comfy Chair or Blanket
Don't bring a tent (too cumbersome and they block the stage views), but do bring a chair or blanket if you'd like to lounge. Here at The Mushroom, we carry a vast selection of versatile tapestries. They're great to sit on during the festival, and afterward, they double as wall hangings or bedspreads!
An Open Mind and Eager Ear
One of the best things about music festivals is the opportunity to discover new music. This year's Bayou Boogaloo includes both national and local headlining acts -- from Cowboy Mouth and Tab Benoit to a Beastie Boys tribute band -- and New Orleans’ longest-operating independent record shop is proud to stock their albums! So take mental notes while you're getting your groove on, and then take the trip Uptown to scoop up a permanent reminder of Bayou Boogaloo 2019 in the form of a new record.
See you at Bayou Boogaloo -- and at Mushroom New Orleans!