N.O. bracing for Voodoo Experience, Halloween weekend celebrations

N.O. bracing for Voodoo Experience, Halloween weekend celebrations

The heavy lifting is well underway at City Park as crews piece together the massive spectacle - the Voodoo Experience.

The festival, known for its diverse mix of international and local acts, will once again bring together music heavyweights from several genres this year, including OutKast, Foo Fighters, Skrillex and Pretty Lights.

"We start the weekend with OutKast, and I think it's probably going to be their last show ever," said Voodoo Founder Steve Rehage. "I don't think they've officially come out and said that, but it's certainly the vibe we're getting. And then we close it out with the (Foo Fighters), and they've been on fire lately."

Rehage expects tens of thousands of fans to converge on City Park for each of the event's three days.

"Pre-sales are looking like it will be the biggest year on record," he said.

With many more events planned across the city, this weekend is shaping up to bring another Halloween tourism boom.

Businesses along Bourbon and Frenchmen streets typically cash in for this growing celebration.

"Intense. It's incredibly over the top. If it's doable or seeable, it'll happen on Frenchmen Street," said Snug Harbor Co-owner Wesley Schmidt. "It's pretty close to Mardi Gras these days. Halloween is a really strange event. It used to be a kids' holiday, well now the kids are all 25 to 35 years old. It's all good-spirited stuff. You know, it's costumes. It's music. It's fun."

"I think it's a natural for New Orleans because of Mardi Gras. You know, people here are going to parade in costume at the drop of the hat, so you give people another excuse to do that, and it's a major party," he said.

There are street parties, haunted houses and plentiful concert options.

"Halloween in New Orleans is always special. So, Voodoo is kind of, after 16 years, part of that fabric, and people around the country, if not the world, are looking at the city as a destination to come in and just kind of play all weekend," Rehage said. "We give them the vehicle to do that."

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