02-06-2023  7:32 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 29 October 2010

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The wail of electric guitars and drum beats will resonate through New Orleans' City Park on Friday as part of the VooDoo Experience, an alternative music festival which this year features Ozzy Osbourne, Muse, Weezer, Drake and Raphael Saddiq.

Fans will get their pick of more than 100 bands performing on six stages, sample Louisiana cuisine and share in other interactive experiences over the Halloween weekend.

Muse headlines Friday, while Osbourne takes center stage Saturday and My Morning Jacket will close out the 12th annual event Oct. 31.

"Get ready to worship the music," said Steve Rehage, the festival's producer and founder.

The festival is known for catering to alternative rock and punk enthusiasts but mixes the lineup with a little R&B and rap and is topped off with that classic Southern seasoning to tap all markets.

"A lot of festivals cross-pollinate, but I don't think none do it to the extreme that we have," Rehage said. "You literally can have the Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing opposite Ozzy at our festival. You won't find that going on anywhere else in the world. There's going to be a lot of crazy stuff going on out there. It's a festival that tends to have everybody bouncing around all weekend."

Drake and Saddiq are making return visits to New Orleans, having played earlier this year at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Essence Music Festival respectively. Macy Gray and Janelle Monae also are scheduled to perform amid the sounds of MGMT, Metric, Hot Chip, Cage The Elephant, Interpol and Die Antwoord.

"Drake and Ozzy will duke it out for who's the actual headliner," Rehage said. "Right now, Drake's winning with the pyrotechnics."

Rehage said he's glad that type of dynamic exists among the artists.

"We've got top artists playing against each other, each vying for the later slot of the day," he said. "But at this festival, we collaborate with the local artists and maintain that the national artists on the bill are guests of the fest."

The lineup is sprinkled with various Louisiana musicians, including Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Theresa Andersson, Rebirth Brass Band, Buckwheat Zydeco and Rosie Ledet.

"The festival, for me, is a labor of love and life," said Rehage, a New Orleans native.

He notes there was doubt that the event would be resurrected after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

"The focus moved from music to Sheetrock," Rehage recalled. "Then, 40 days out, our conversations changed. We decided that not only is New Orleans ready for a music festival, we need to go home and give back to the locals and show the world that New Orleans is not going anywhere. We've been growing ever since."

Rehage wouldn't project attendance for this year's event, but did say hotel occupancy for the weekend is at _ or near _ capacity.

"I suspect this weekend will be a complete sellout," he said.

Boosting occupancy in the city are matchups between the New Orleans Hornets and the Denver Nuggets on Friday and Sunday's New Orleans Saints game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It feels good that we're helping to bring money into the city," Rehage said.

General admission tickets are $60 and a three-day pass is priced at $150.


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