New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans
Concierge.com's insider take:
After Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest is the city's biggest celebration, when dedicated music fans pack the infield of a local horse-racing track for hundreds of national and local acts performing on half a dozen stages. Jazz, funk, rock, and world music groups rule the stages, while soul-soothing power choirs rock the gospel tent. Over the years, national touring acts (Al Green, Foo Fighters, Bonnie Raitt) have infiltrated the lineup, which routinely showcases New Orleans legends (the Meters, Dr. John, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, miscellaneous Marsalises). The concession booths take festival food way beyond funnel cakes and nachos, with transcendent roast-pork po'boys and creamy Crawfish Monica. As always, Jazz Fest falls during the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.