Day 25 – April 30

I was sittin’ on a stump
Down in New Orleans,
I was feelin’ kinda low down,
Dirty and mean.
Along came a fella
And he didn’t even ask.
He says, “I know of a woman.
That can fix you up fast.”
I didn’t think twice,
I said like I should,
“Let’s go find this lady
That can do me some good.”
We walked across the river
On a sailin’ spree
And we came to a door
Called one-oh-three. – Bob Dylan – New Orleans Rag

Jazz Fest – and the heavens opened

Overcast with thunderstorms predicted mid afternoon. Today I have on my Mambo shirt which my good friend Greg Keyes gave me. Already had some comments re ‘cool shirt.’

It is another Ya Ka Mein morning to fuel me for the day ahead. If I had known what was going to happen later in the afternoon I would have had another three or four serves.

I went over to the Gentilly for some Sweet Crude. Heard the singer quip that we in N.O. don’t have mosh pits, here they are march pits.

The girls have saved me a seat in the Blues Tent for Cyril Neville’s Royal Southern Brotherhood. The band has had a number of changes since I last saw them here in N.O. The set just kept building and building and I now have changed my mind and upgraded the show to the highlight of the Fest.

We all know the storm is coming but I decided to go out of the tent and listen to some of Roy Rogers & the Rhythm Kings from outside the tent. The girls chose to stay inside which turns out to be a wise decision. As soon as the band started I had to reach in for my poncho.

I wanted to catch Dr. John over at Acura and the rain ain’t gonna stop me. The Doctor is in the house and he cured all who braved the rain. No now it is not rain it is a monsoon. Thunder and lightning. Even heavier rain than the Thursday. I think the Doctor knew something as he just finished singing ‘Goodnight Irene’ when the lightning got even closer and the show had to be stopped.

Parts of the Acura crowd area are flooding and people are scrambling to get over onto the track. I walked around to the Blues Tent and have never felt rain so heavy before and the wind is howling, only saving grace is it is not cold. There is no way to get into the tent even though the music has been stopped. People are huddled under a truck. The only music still going is from the Gospel Tent, I guess they have you know who on their side. My phone is wet and I can’t text the girls although I did get a text to say they will make their own way home. I assumed they had set off earlier

I know the Iggy’s shuttle will not be able to get through to our pick up point and the transit bus line goes on forever. No let up to the storm so I bite the bullet and decide on the walk home down Esplanade. About a 45 minute walk through at times ankle deep water. Now don’t’ think I am exaggerating as when I finally did make it home I read a text from Brian Wise saying it is the worst storm he has seen at Jazz Fest and he has been coming for decades.
When I did get indoors I found out that my back pack had water in it and my new phone and wallet were floating. Looks like the phone is cactus as it will not charge.

The girls got a message through to say they were walking back with some of the Iggy’s crew. They got home about 45 minutes after me. Kate has video footage of inside the Blues Tent were the water was at some points mid – shin deep. She even can be heard saying on the video, ‘mum there is a rubbish bin floating down the aisle’. Oh Jazz Fest you never stop surprising us. It is all part of the adventure.

We learned that all the closing head line acts had to be cancelled. No Stevie Wonder, Beck or Snoop Dog. Stevie’s show was transferred to a venue in the Quarter and was due to start at 8:30 but by 8 there was already a line snaking down the street.

Just to confirm how heavy the rain was. In todays Times Picayune there is a quote from an official saying. ‘ Jazz Fest has had its rainy days, but this is the worst weather I have ever seen.’ Good to know I was not imaging the ferocity of the storm.

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