The New Orleans North Music Festival presented by Harrah’s Joliet returns to downtown Joliet on Friday, June 2, 2023, from 5-11 p.m. The event will pay homage to New Orleans culture, presenting the ultimate opportunity for locals to travel to the infamous and eclectic city without stepping foot on a plane. Event attendees will be treated to the sights, sounds, and smells of the French Quarter as they walk through the gates and leave Joliet behind.
“New Orleans North is the perfect opportunity to revisit fond memories of travel, or create new ones without leaving the comforting confines of the City of Joliet,” said Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Jen Howard. “This night of fun features local artists, a wide variety of food options, cold beer and hurricanes and an unparalleled lineup of live musical entertainment that only the Joliet Chamber can deliver.”
D’Arcy Buick GMC Main Stage Entertainment
Unlike any other event in the region, New Orleans North features four separate areas of distinctly different musical entertainment. This year, the D’Arcy Buick GMC Main Stage will be headlined by one of the hottest live bands in the Midwest – Maggie Speaks. Maggie Speaks knows no musical limits as they cover the 60s through today in multiple genres. Their musical diversity is truly second to none. In particular, the event will showcase their “Talk of The Town Big Band” with multiple singers and a total of 15 live horn and string pieces.
The New Orleans North Drag Show presented by the Joliet Pride Network will also grace the stage again. The non-profit organization dedicated to promoting inclusion, dignity, and acceptance through advocacy for members of the LGBTQ+ community will usher 2021 Miss Joliet Pridefest Ebony Delite, the vivacious Fonda LaFemme and one other queen to the stage this year.
Main stage entertainment will kick off with two traditional New Orleans-inspired brass zydeco bands: the 3rd City Brass Band and Big Lagniappe. The 3rd City Brass Band will parade NOLA-infused funky jams as they accompany the first attendees inside with a second line style parade to the stage. Big Lagniappe will follow with their four-piece horn section, thumping rhythm, and stunning guitar solos.
Thompson’s Tap & Alleys
Three additional areas will offer an eccentric line up of live music. The Righteous Hillbillies will headline Thompson’s Tap located in the parking lot kitty-corner to the Joliet Public Library Ottawa Street Branch. With their Southern spirit of blues boogie, soul groove, along with the primal and visceral energy of rock ‘n’ roll power, the Righteous Hillbillies are an act you don’t want to miss.
Kelsey Montanez will set the tone at Thompson’s Tap with a potent blend of blues, pop, and psychedelia, and turn heads with her arresting voice – both intimate and ecstatic, smokey and scorching.
Just down the way, the Abri Credit Union Hookah Alley will witness The Jib Brothers Band cover classic tunes from over 30 different artists in stunning three-part harmonies. Attendees can take in the tunes while sampling cigars and hookah.
Also new this year, a music club will pop up on Van Buren Street to buzz acoustic harmonies from a menu of solo artists and duos who play for short sets throughout the evening.
Beer & Hurricanes – Sponsor yet?
A Hurricane drink is the quintessential NOLA cocktail that always gets the party started. Perfectly sweet, with just a kick of rum, and served in an event-exclusive color-changing cup, you can’t go wrong! Be sure to get yours quick though as only the first 1000 hurricanes purchased are guaranteed to be served in the custom souvenir cup.
And of course, no summer festival is complete without cold beer. The D’Arcy Buick GMC, Joliet Electric Motors and NuMark Credit Union Drink Tent will be pouring NOLA-produced Abita Purple Haze, locally crafted brews from Will County Brewing and a variety of domestic cans.
The best way to take in the city of New Orleans is through its food and the New Orleans North Festival offers a similar experience with Cajun dishes served by local restaurants and food trucks. Don’t worry if the Cajun kick isn’t for you though, the event will feature a wide variety of vendors. From crawfish sandwiches to hot pretzels, tacos and more, there will be something for everyone!
In a city where drama and theater are an everyday occurrence, eccentric performances are a must! Stilt walkers will roam the streets, artists will paint live, and once the sun goes down, the entertainment collective Intrinsic Arts will display spectacular fire performances.
Alongside performers and artist wandering the streets, Artist Row will present a stationary display of the finest local art. Find the heart of New Orleans culture between the Will County parking garage and the Van Buren Plaza Fountain. Perhaps you will even take home your new favorite piece as each vendor will be selling their work too!
To purchase tickets to the New Orleans North Music Festival presented by Harrah’s Joliet visit the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry online at www.NewOrleansNorthJoliet.com or call 815-727-5371, visit the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry office or attend the day of the event. Tickets are $10 in advance. Pricing will increase to $20 per ticket 24-hours prior to the gates opening and entry will be $20 at the gate.