I even think there will be a Mardi Gras, but this is some good news (from The Times-Picayune):
The 2006 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will go on
by Zack Smith
“There will be a Jazzfest. We are committed to putting on the 2006 Jazz and Heritage Festival, whatever that may take,” said Quint Davis, producer/director of the springtime musical extravaganza and president of Festival Productions Inc.-New Orleans, which produces the festival with AEG Live, the nation’s second highest-grossing concert promoter.
Details are sketchy at this point.
“We don’t know when, we don’t know where, we don’t know what format,” Davis said. “There will be a Jazzfest in 2006. It will be in Louisiana. It will be as close to New Orleans as we can get it.”
The producers would like to hold the event at its customary site at the Fair Grounds Race Course, but if that’s not possible they are committed to holding it in Louisiana. “We’ll be starting from the Fair Grounds and working our way out” in determining a location, Davis said.
This commitment comes from all of the major stakeholders in the festival, Davis said.
Davis and Jazzfest founder George Wein have met with AEG Live Chief Executive Officer Randy Phillips and other top AEG Live officials. AEG will continue to bankroll the festival, as it did in 2005.
The plan to go forward with the 2006 festival has the support of members of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, which owns the festival. Davis and Phillips have been in contact with foundation Executive Director Don Marshall, who has been in contact with board members.
The producers and the foundation also have committed to contribute to a fund to support festival staff, many of whom have been dislocated by Hurricane Katrina. Jazzfest planning typically begins in September.