Monday, October 6, 2008
Congo Sqare Rythms Festival
This festival was amazing! Congo Square is the historic area in New Orleans where slaves were allowed to gather on Sundays. The French and Spanish generally allowed slaves more autonomy than America ever did. For this reason (and many others) New Orleans' music is more directly influenced from Africa than other music in the States. Congo Square resides within what is now Louis Armstrong Park. The festival, however, was held at St. John's Bayou, on Jefferson Davis. I didn't attend on Saturday, but everyone on Sunday agree that the second day was the best. The line-up was a mix of drumming circles, African dance troupes, Mardi Gras Indians, local aspiring rappers, some poetry readings, and a lot of urging people to vote. Kermit Ruffins played near the end of the day. (I wish I'd gotten a picture) There were vendors of world crafts and food stands for Creole, Jamaican and Ethiopian foods. It was a beautiful day in New Orleans!
And it was completely free and open to the public!