The ‘State of the Listen’ @ Jazz Fest 2013


The 44th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival drew sizeable crowds this year, despite the rain that kept less ardent fans away. Featuring music, food, crafts, and culture, Jazz Fest falls on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May each year.

The following data reflects public social media mentions on New Orleans Jazz Fest from April 5 – May 5, 2013. The information was pulled from Radian6, a social media monitoring and analytics platform.


In the last year, Jazz Fest goers have turned to social media in greater numbers than in years past – almost doubling the number of mentions about the music festival over 2012. There were noticeably more attendees on Saturday May 4th, as Fleetwood Mac’s performance attracted some of the largest crowds in Jazz Fest history (attendance numbers have not yet been released). However, the classic rock group missed out on the lion’s share of the buzz with Maroon 5 claiming the top place among social media mentions. And although the crowds gathered for Fleetwood Mac were greater in number, it is likely that the younger crowd present for contemporary pop group Maroon 5 was more tech savvy than their older festing compatriots, which could account for the discrepancy in crowd size and the volume of social media buzz.

For the second year in a row, Crawfish Monica and Crawfish Bread were the food items that most people dished about on social media. Crawfish dishes received more mentions from Jazz Festers than many of the top performers. But receiving more buzz than the top food and many key Jazz Fest acts was the weather. Rain played a starring role in Jazz Fest this year, which was reflected in the social media chatter about the festival. Surprisingly, more people posted about the rain at Jazz Fest than the mud, which stuck around much longer. Due to the inclement weather conditions, galoshes (rain boots and shrimp boots) ruled the fest. Many local stores sold out of the types of footwear needed to traverse the festival grounds by the second Saturday of Jazz Fest. Galoshes proved to be a social media star of the festival, receiving more buzz than the top food attractions and many of the musical acts.

NOTE: A big thanks to our friends at Zehnder Communications for sharing the infographic!