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This week’s rant: The down side of Jazz Fest

Bathroom break at Jazz Fest.

On the minus side: Bathroom break at Jazz Fest.

I am notorious for saying the things that most people would never say but are definitely thinking. So here goes nothing…

Just like we (never me, just you) lie to new parents and tell them how cute their new baby is, or to our significant other when he or she tries to impress us with non-existent skills in the kitchen … we tend to dissemble about loving Jazz Fest.

Sure, we love the music. We love the food. But we can find all that food, and most of that music, elsewhere. Some things about it do kind of suck, and you know that I know that you know it.

The weather sucks. It’s too hot. If it’s not too hot, it’s too cold.

It smells … and I’m not even talking about the horse manure, but the body odor. It goes on too long, the stages are too far apart, and it’s too expensive. Parking is a nightmare, cell phone signals are non-existent, and who would ever choose to use a port-o-pot?

It’s nearly impossible to find any of your friends if you get separated, yet you can’t stop running into these people:

The “You’re kicking mud on my kids” lady
First, I didn’t ask you to have kids, nor did I ask you to bring said kids to Jazz Fest. I didn’t tell you it would be a good idea to have those kids lying on a tarp in a pit of mud, either. I am very sorry I accidentally kicked mud on your kids when I was trying so hard to kick it on you.

The “stop pushing me” girl
If you were trying to see Fleetwood Mac last Saturday, I know you met this girl. She turns around every few minutes to demand you stop pushing her … because clearly in a crowd of thousands and thousands of people in a shoulder to shoulder standstill she is the only person getting pushed and you are solely responsible.

The Super fan
The super fan thinks that if you don’t know every single word to every single song like he does, then he has the right to get in front of you even though you have been holding down your spot for four hours. If the super fan is under the age of 15 and Adam Levine is performing, tears will be shed as she tells everyone in earshot how she is going through exactly what the songs are about. You know, her slew of tumultuous relationships. The super fan, by the way, also sings along, belting off-key every single word to every single song.

The Volunteer who is taking his job way too seriously
You know you only did this for the free admission, so please don’t tell me what I can and cannot do. If I’ve never listened to my parents or the police, your yellow t-shirt isn’t going to get me to listen to you.

So why do we put ourselves through this? Because people come from all over the world to attend something that is in our backyard. Because people will look at you funny if you say you didn’t go. Because if you are a writer/photographer you will be missing out on great material.

Because about a week after it’s over, when your blisters and sunburn have healed and you have gotten the correct amount of sleep, you forget all the things you hated about it.  And you already are planning which days you will attend Jazz Fest 2014.

See all you guys next year at the Fair Grounds … only 350 days to go!

Rachel Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.


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