Voodoo adds tent camping to festival experience
By STACEY PLAISANCE
NEW ORLEANS — The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is bringing a European music festival experience to New Orleans with overnight tent camping and more Euro-dance-based acts to its stage.
The lineup for the three-day festival, which starts Friday at New Orleans City Park, includes Skrillex, Justice and Kaskade, electronic DJ-producers who have performed at other U.S. festivals in recent years as U.S. radio continues to welcome dance music to its rotation, following Europe’s longtime trend.
This will be the first year tent-camping will be available for concert-goers — a popular stable at European music festivals.
“It’s a long-standing tradition that works really well there, so we thought why not bring it here?” said Voodoo producer Stephen Rehage. As one of the first American festivals to offer tent-camping, Rehage said he’s starting small, with about 300 tent sites. Restrooms and showers will be provided.
The 14th annual Voodoo will include nearly 100 acts in rock, metal, hip-hop, blues and electronica. Headliners include Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Metallica and Jack White.
Rehage said he has moved the stage for the electronic DJs to a location that can accommodate more festive-goers because last year the fan base was spilling over into other stage areas.
Xavier de Rosnay of the French duo Justice, who performs Saturday, says he doesn’t know what makes his music such a draw, and he’s not sure he wants to.
“Sometimes not knowing is good because knowing could be a temptation for us to begin making music to please people instead of making music as we do now with complete freedom,” de Rosnay said in a phone interview.
Nas, The Avett Brothers, Bootsy Collins, Gary Clark Jr., Silversun Pickups and Dave Stewart will also perform.
“This festival really is a musical gumbo,” Rehage said. “Every year we just throw it all in the pot, mix it up and hope it tastes good.”
Voodoo, which is held annually around Halloween, includes a sampling of local talent with Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, the Lost Bayou Ramblers and Little Freddie King.
Max Bermis, frontman for the California-based punk rock band Say Anything, said he’s looking forward to being part of such a unique lineup.
“Neil Young and Metallica are playing. It’s not an endless parade of what’s hip or what’s popular. It seems to have some cool culture to it,” said Bermis, whose band performs Friday.
Metallica was added to the lineup this month to fill the slot previously held by Green Day, which canceled its performance.
“We’re hoping we can fill those very large shoes and do them proud,” said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.
Voodoo tickets start at $90 for one-day admission, $175 for three days, with packages for VIP, parking and camping.
AP Writer Chevel Johnson in New Orleans contributed to this report.
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