Photo by Connor Hayes
The drama of a double cancellation for New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has finally settled and the festival is welcoming Widespread Panic into the mix. For those that are unaware of the debacle, I’ll break it down for you.
The renowned New Orleans festival grabbed fans’ attention with a January lineup drop featuring The Rolling Stones to headline May 2nd, the second weekend of the festival. This announcement excited fans of all ages. Many quickly secured tickets as to not miss the Stones perform what would have been an unforgettable set.
However, in late March, the legendary frontman Mick Jagger received news of needing heart valve replacement surgery and the band was forced to cancel their attendance at Jazz Fest this year. The Stones’ North American tour has been postponed as well. Needless to say, we are all tremendously disappointed by the cancellation, but health comes first and foremost. We wish Mick Jagger a speedy recovery!
In the meantime, Jazz Fest was scrambling to find a new act that could replace the irreplaceable Rolling Stones. Suggestions, theories and some April Fool’s pranks circled around the web. Sadly, Led Zeppelin would not be reforming. But Jazz Fest had thought it had found its new headlining act in Fleetwood Mac.
Fleetwood would have been an apt substitution, being another successful rock band from the ’70s. But just days after the festival announced the replacement, the band had to pull out as well due to the illness of Stevie Nicks.
Now I can only imagine the chaos that must have ensued for the Jazz Fest team. Very rarely does a festival have two major cancellations of headliners. But it seems that third time must be the charm; the festival has turned to a veteran of previous Jazz Fests, Widespread Panic to close out the Acura Stage on May 2nd.
While Widespread Panic may not have the same mass appeal as the previous The Rolling Stones or Fleetwood Mac, but they are sure to entertain. The band’s blend of blues-rock, jazz, funk, hard rock, and psychedelia keeps fans engaged throughout their lively performances. So even if you were disappointed with the cancellations, I guarantee that you won’t be after seeing Widespread Panic!
Important to Note
Information about May 2nd is below: