Up to that performance yesterday, I had been debating whether or not I ought to show my friend D all the other parts of New Orleans she was bound to miss if she stuck with the tours and the like. Unlike her husband, who is currently tied to the convention in town, she has some time during the day to traipse around a little more and really see everything. How much should I show her? Would she understand? When I had talked with D and her husband over dinner Saturday night, they said a lot about how little news about New Orleans was coming out of the (mainstream) media to the rest of the country. Seeing the waterlines on the closed Whitney Bank building at the corner of Broad and Canal had gotten them questioning what was really being done recovery-wise in my city. Good.
Would they really get it?
My fears melted away in front of the Wild Magnolias that day.
A member of the tribe was introduced to the crowd. "He's in New York now! We need to get him to come home! It's too cold up there!"
"Hell yes!" I screamed as loud as I could.
"We need to bring him home!"
"Damn right! It's waaay too cold up there!" I screamed again. Members of the Fest clean-up crew nearby smiled and nodded their heads with me.
"She knows!" D yelled. "Bring 'im home!"
All of us smiled and nodded together.
I wasn't just talking about the freezing temperatures up north, either. This city is still being frozen out of real, meaningful discussion and action concerning its fate. Its exiles are still longing for the opportunity to come home and to live in the way to which they are accustomed. Money that could be going towards stronger levees and real coastal restoration is headed overseas and valuable sediment is still allowed to flow right into the lake and the gulf. That kind of big chill will permeate national, state, and local politics unless everybody is educated.
And that includes D and her husband.
And, hey, I know that I can do as good a job as these folks in the education department. Hell, with the help of the blogpocheh, I can probably do even better.
It is in this way that something can and will be done...
...and, in the process, something just as valuable as the Indians making a new suit every year will be passed on.
I wish this made me feel better:
By 1988, the gate price was $9, which is $16.06 with inflation—or just a little less than the original $3 ticket, and in 1999, a ticket cost $18 or $22.87 with inflation. The biggest increase took place in 2005 when the gate price was raised to $35 ($37.83 when adjusted for inflation).
The current $50 ticket price brings Jazz Fest in line with other major festivals. The Austin City Limits Festival cost $56 a day, Coachella $89 and Bonnaroo between $52 and $61 (Note: other festivals often require the purchase of a multi-day pass). It’s also only slightly more expensive than a number of shows at the House of Blues during Jazz Fest. Buddy Guy (May 2) and Etta James (April 27) tickets cost $45 or more, and Dr. John tickets cost $33.50—67 percent of the price of a Jazz Fest ticket for two bands (Shannon McNally opens).
Perhaps looking back to the past is not how we should measure the worth of Jazz Fest. Who wouldn’t pay $16.32 to hear many of New Orleans greatest musicians in their prime? The question is what it’s worth to you now.
...but it doesn't quite.
And a picture in the print version of Offbeat's Jazz Fest Bible taken of the mannequin that is now Ernie K Doe reveals that the poor man needs a serious manicure. Seriously.