Jazz Fest races to finish set-up before opening day - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jazz Fest races to finish set-up before opening day

With Easter now past, the next big spring holiday is on deck. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival begins Friday, and cherry pickers, forklifts and good old-fashioned manpower take center stage at the Fairgrounds as a mini city rises from the infield.

"It can almost be a hell week for us," said Jazz Fest site Director Tague Richardson.

The floors go in right after racing season ends, and it takes a lot of piping, canvas and cable to create the stands and stages that bring Jazz Fest to life.

"That's really the shell of what's going to happen, and then the following week after that it's layers upon layers upon layers," Richardson said. "We have art, we have plumbing we have electrical and then the vendors get here and they bring in stoves and all their crafts and everything."

Once the gates open, the crew will have grown from about 60 in March to nearly 2,000 people working to make sure all goes smoothly.

"This festival is about 22 acres on the infield and we use every inch of it for either people or things," Richardson said.

So as crews get the tent together for the main stage, it's just a couple of more days before the sounds of equipment are replaced with lots of music.

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