The annual second line jazz funeral has now expanded into a festival
Editor’s note: The 2020 5o420 Fest has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you thought New Orleans had a festival for everything before, you were wrong.
This year, it’s the inaugural Cannabis Fest, which of course, takes place on Saturday, April 20.
The 5o420 Festival is spearheaded by the Louisiana Cannabis Coalition, which usually only hosts a jazz funeral second line to commemorate the day.
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“The cannabis jazz funeral second line was depressing to a lot of people, and we wanted to make it fun,” said Rebecca Wright, the executive director of the coalition. “We felt like legalizing cannabis shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth, it should be a fun thing, so we really wanted to bring the joy back into it.”
The fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Washington Square Park.
Wright said the day will be mixed with fun and activism, featuring guest speakers in between the live musical performances. Nonprofits and food vendors will also be there.
A reggae band led by Rudy Mills will kick off the event, and the cannabis jazz funeral will still take place, led by Mario Abney. A Native American drum circle will also be held.
For the record, cannabis will not be sold at this event, Wright said. Still, she said that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t come out to have fun.
“It only happens once a year,” she explained. “It’s definitely a subject matter for everyone, even if you don’t consume yourself, it is really a bigger issue of civil rights.”