Even with Mardi Gras, New Orleans isn’t sated with solely one event to invite costumed revelers within city limits. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has filled in that gap suitably since 1999, hosting a throng of musicians at City Park to play for crowds donning colorful Halloween garb. It’s one of the few music fests where watching the crowds easily rivals watching the bands, but this year’s lineup veers far more trick than treat.
Yesterday’s debut of the three-day event sported LCD Soundsystem, Marian Hill, Benjamin Booker, Prophets of Rage and TOKiMONSTA, punctuated by Kendrick Lamar headlining. That combo proved infinitely dance-able, bolstered by the unseasonably mellow weather. It was also a chance to see TOKiMONSTA’s Jennifer Lee wield her cutting and mixing prowess; last year Lee underwent two major surgeries to address a disease that left the arteries in her brain constricted. After relearning how to process music, she returned with Lune Rouge, an album that charts her recovery and return to clever beat manipulation. That energy and sheer joy was more than evident in her DJ set. Check out Sarah Hess’ photos in the gallery above and check back tomorrow and Monday for more pics from Voodoo Fest 2017.