Jazz Fest: First Saturday

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It seems as though every year that Jazz Fest comes, I forget just how much there is to do at the Fairgrounds and a sensory overload always seems imminent. It's important to keep your wits about you, have some sort of plan (not too strict, there's always room for wandering) and generally try not to get (too) lost in it all.

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lost sandals

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The story of the first few hours was whether or not it was going to rain and watching people comically trying to get through the muddiest stretches of the fairgrounds without losing their shoes. Many people up and gave up on their footwear and went barefoot. Others still left their sandals behind. I wonder how they managed to walk home or to their cars.

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cochon!

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First things first, had to get a cochon de lait po boy, the breakfast of champions and appropriate at the crack of noon. We shared a table with a couple building consensus with anyone who'd listen that it wasn't going to rain today. The wind around us intensified briefly and we looked to the sky, gray but not menacing, soon the sun would make stabs of the cloud cover and we began to think that even if it did rain, it wouldn't be too bad. After all, its jazz fest...what could possibly go wrong?

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duckies!

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Saw this fun family on the way to see Papa Grows Funk. In the shadow of the Gentilly Stage, these geese seemed a little confused as to why the pond was fenced off, but seemed to enjoy themselves in the mud as passersby took pictures. You could almost swear that they were nodding their head to the music being played less than 200 feet away.

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the sun!

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At around 3:30, with the Funky Meters jamming at the Acura Stage, the sun began to make serious stabs at the cloud cover and, eventually, finally broke through. In the middle of the set, George Porter Jr. screamed "Can you see the sun?!" and the crowed rejoiced in the light. The rains would not come today.

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midnight distrubers

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The pleasant surprises at Jazz Fest have to be the unexpected acts that just blow you away. Check out this all-star lineup of horn players blowing together as the Midnight Disturbers. Big Sam, Members of Soul Rebels and Bonerama and more. Can you name all the great musicians on stage in this shot? They killed it so bad that we almost missed the Campbell Brothers and Terence Blanchard, both of which also delivered inspired performances that brought the crowds in the Blues Tent and WWOZ Tent (respectively) up to their feet.

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kids in mud

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Everyone may be talking about Simon and Garfunkle's performance (from the fact that the crowd packed in to see a once in a lifetime event to Garfunkle struggling through verses of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" but absolutely nailing "Sounds of Silence") what kept catching my eye was these kids playing in the mud towards the back of the crowd. What'd you do when you were six? "Oh nothing, played in the mud while some musical legends played in the background. No big deal." And then a guy walked by with a shirt that said "Sex: Do it for the kids" and you remember what Jazz Fest is all about.

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