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Overseen at Jazz Fest: Front row of Gaga and Tony Bennett

Editor’s note: In theory, Jazz Fest is all about the music. However, in its 45-year run, the festival has arguably become just as much about its respective people-watching opportunities as its jams. With the seven-day span, over a mile of buzzing crowds and a tremendous volume of eccentric characters in tow, it’s impossible to catch every intriguing tattoo, quirky outfit, or muddy set of feet. To maximize your fest-oriented people-watching, in a three-part mini-series NolaVie contributor Robert Warren set out to catch the best “overseen” snapshots at Jazz Fest.

He asked Jazz Festers…

“How do you make it to the front row of the Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Concert?”



Who: Kristen and Angel

“What does it take to get to the front row of the Lady Gaga concert?”
“Be here early!”
“Be here early and work your butt off to get it, and drop an elbow. No, just kidding!”



Who: Bill and Nancy O’Connor

“You get outside of the particular gate of the main stage that you want to be at. Wait there from about eight to eight-thirty until they open the gate and then go to that particular stage. Pick a spot where you like it and just stay there all day. If you go back and forth, stage to stage, you might lose your primo spot.”



Who: Craig Kelly

“It’s all in the planning. What you need to do is understand who is the performer before the major performer and go see them … get up towards the front, and then we look for people that are going to leave after the performer previous to the big star. And then we move up front.”

Who: Andrea Manuel

“We just got here early… We just looked at the grid to see everybody that was playing, when they were playing, what tents, to see if we could double up on any of the tents. We asked the security guy, ‘Hey, what’s up with Gaga? What’s the deal?’ He was like ‘You better show up by three o’clock otherwise no way.’ So, you know, intel.”



Who: Gracie

“My brother Johnnie P is in the music business. That’s how I’m on the front row for Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.”

Who: Gwen Bowie

“My boyfriend is friends with Johnny P, so that’s how I’m on the front row for Lady Gaga and and Tony Bennett.”

Check back tomorrow for more “Overseen at Jazz Fest,” when Robert Warren asks festers about going barefoot versus wearing boots.


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