Turnpike Troubadours heading Hogs for the Cause.
North Mississippi Osborne, Turnpike Troubadours, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, The SteelDrivers and other country, Southern rock, bluegrass and funk bands will perform at the 10th edition of Hogs for the Cause
The barbecue festival returns to the grounds adjoining the U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, and there are a few changes in store for the event, including bacon-based dishes on Friday night.
Festival headliners include North Mississippi Osborne, a mashup of North Mississippi Allstar musicians and Anders Osborne. Oklahoma-based Turnpike Troubadours tops the list of country bands on the bill. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe has been a regular visitor to the city, but more often around the time of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the jazz funk outfit has been popular with jam band fans. The SteelDrivers are a Nashville-based bluegrass band and formerly counted Chris Stapleton as a member. Now a country music star in his own right, Stapleton performs in New Orleans at Bayou Country Superfest
Other Hogs performers include country and bluegrass-influenced singer Tyler Childers, Son Little, aka Philadelphia R&B singer Aaron Livingston, jam band Spafford, Britain's Banners, Southern rockers Band of Heathens and Blackfoot Gypsies, and North Carolina string-band Mipso.
Blues guitarist and new New Orleanian Samantha Fish is on the bill, as well as singer Maggie Koerner, The Stoop Kids, Hot 8 Brass Band and Khris Royal.
The rest of the lineup includes Sweet Spirit, Cordovas, The Artisanals, Iko Allstars and Jonothan Boogie Long.
Among the changes at the 2018 festival will be more shade, says founder Becker. There will be two large tents on the grounds. One will feature an array of craft beers from regional breweries including Tin Roof, Parish Brewing and Gnarly Barley. New Hogs sponsor Tito's vodka will sponsor the other tent, which will offer a menu of cocktails. The festival also will have free-pouring bars and frozen drinks.
Last year, the Friday night event fell during Lent, and many vendors offered seafood dishes. This year, all 85 barbecue teams will offer a bacon-based food item on Friday night.
The festival has retired its wooden nickel "Hoggy Dollars" system and will move to a cashless system with a wireless bracelet to swipe at vendor booths.
There also will be a Thrusday night gala presented by the Link Restaurant Group. It will have a Rat Pack theme, Hall says.
Hogs for the Cause raises money to support families with children battling brain cancer. It raised $1.3 million last year.