By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
More then 150,000 people turned out to New Orleans’ City Park last week for the three-day, ninth annual Voodoo Music Experience. This record-setting attendance at New Orleans’ signature fall music event follows an historic comeback in 2006 with more than 93,000 concertgoers, and sets the stage for the celebratory 10th anniversary scheduled for Oct. 24-26, 2008.
“For the festival to set record attendance numbers two years after Katrina is an unexpected surprise and shows the resilience of the people here,” said Stephen Rehage, founder and producer of Voodoo Music Experience, in a statement. “The last few years have been difficult for the people of New Orleans and the surrounding regions. I am proud that, in some small way, Voodoo has played a part not only in the rebuilding processes but also in keeping our rich musical culture and traditions moving forward.”
This year’s three full days of music included performances from more than 120 acts including Rage Against the Machine, Kings Of Leon, Toots & the Maytals and M.I.A. (Oct. 26); the Smashing Pumpkins, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Sinead O’Connor and Ti£sto (Oct. 27); and Wilco, Dr. John, Fall Out Boy, the Black Crowes and Common (Oct. 28). Music and culture was divided into three distinct performance areas–Le Ritual, Le Flambeau and Le Carnival–each of which highlighted a unique side of the personality of New Orleans.