The Funk is Strong with This One: Bear Creek Bayou at Mardi Gras World!

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! The schedule for this weekend’s inaugural Bear Creek Bayou Music Festival at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans is ready! Time to start planning your stage-hopping now — because there are three stages, with overlaps. Decisions, decisions!


No decisions for Thursday night’s pre-party at Joy Theater. One stage for Pirate’s Choice (Luke Quaranta and compatriots), Naughty Professor with Chali 2na, OG GAT featuring Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore and Skerik, and Soulive and Friends. That’s one amazing night, and you won’t miss a note!


Pirate’s Choice gets the party rolling early with an 11 AM set on River Stage. After that, you have decisions to make. The Tony Hall Band opens Bayou Stage at noon, while Smoke N Bones has the first set on Ballroom Stage. And we’re off!

Flowtribe (1:00-2:00) is up next, and then Dumpstaphunk plays perhaps their earliest set ever (1:45-3:00), with Chali 2na and the House of Pain in the same slot in the Ballroom. Benny Bloom & Horns-A-Plenty (2:45-3:45) will be on River Stage.

The Nth Power continues the New Orleans funk (3:30-4:45), and Soulive makes a second appearance (4:00-5:15). Earphunk (4:15-5:30) does their thing on River Stage.

So you might choose to wander and catch parts of many sets or just sit tight and catch favorites. Remember, however: some of the best music at a festival always comes from performers you’ve never heard before!

Things get serious (5:30-7:00) as Foundation of Funk plays their first of two sets, featuring George Porter, Jr., and Zigaboo Modeliste of the Meters; John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood; and Eddie Roberts of the New Mastersounds.

Throughout the weekend, expect to see eight great artists at large sitting in here, there and everywhere (we hope!): Pee Wee Ellis, Medeski, George Porter, Jr., Chali 2na, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, Skerik and Derrick Freeman!

Zach Deputy plays Friday with a band, the Hashtags (6:00-7:00). Bayou Stage continues to deliver with Lettuce (6:15-7:30). Another very special collaboration (7:30-9:00) put together by Bernard Purdie includes Pete Shand (New Mastersounds), Brian Jordan and Ivan Neville. The Budos Band plays (7:45-8:45) before headliners George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic do the “Cosmic Slop” (8:30-10:00). Papadosio gets the last word in the Ballroom (9:45-11:00).

Of COURSE there’s an afterparty! Friday’s official event at Republic NOLA is The Floozies Present FUNK COURT with Medeski, Skerik, Ryan Zoidis, Jesus Coomes, and the Hill brothers. Be forewarned: “THESE FUNK-BASED OFFENSES ARE CONSIDERED ESPECIALLY HEINOUS.”


Your 11 AM wake-up call comes from Mardi Gras Indian funksters Cha Wa. Zigaboo Modeliste & the Funk Revue open Bayou Stage (12:00-1:00) while Doombalaya has the same time slot on Ballroom. In quick succession, Boukou Groove (12:45-1:45) and Gravity A (1:15-2:30) continue the funk assault.

Dumpstaphunk returns for round two on Bayou (1:45-3:00), and the Nigel Hall Band hits River Stage (2:30-3:30). Foundation of Funk also delights a second time (3:00-4:30) in the Ballroom. Back on Bayou, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (4:00-5:15) flex their funk muscles. At the same time, Zach Deputy has a solo slot on River Stage.

The Floozies, having recovered from their late-night madness, blow up the Ballroom (5:15-6:30) while Honey Island Swamp Band graces River Stage (5:30-6:30). Get ready for Lettuce again (6:15-7:30) on Bayou.

Eddie Roberts has put together a remarkable program called Green is Beautiful: A Tribute to Grant Green (you can read much more about this on this link). He will be in the Ballroom (7:15-8:45). The Heavy Pets hit River (7:30-8:30).

The Flaming Lips will shut down the Bayou Stage after blowing our minds (8:30-10:00), and Lotus gets the last word in the Ballroom (9:45-11:00).

Last word? HAH! Of COURSE there’s another official afterparty! Head to The Howlin’ Wolf as Live for Live Music presents an All-Star Tribute to Bernie Worrell featuring Ivan Neville, Ian Neville, Nick Daniels, Nigel Hall, Nikki Glaspie, TJ Norris, Ryan Zoidis, Benny Bloom and Jen Hartswick.

You have officially been funkified — New Orleans style!

MusicFestnews will see you there!


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