VooDoo Music Festival

Stephanie Conlon

For 16 years, the VooDoo Music Festival has been a staple of the New Orleans music scene. This year was no exception with over 100,000 music lovers swarming City Park for the event which took place Oct. 30 –Nov. 1. Not only has the festival become a Halloween tradition to locals, but it has also been nominated for the Pollstar’s Music Festival of the Year award twice since its conception in 1999.

Ozzy Osbourne performed at the VooDoo Music Festival over Halloween Weekend (AP photo)
Ozzy Osbourne performed at the VooDoo Music Festival over Halloween Weekend (AP photo)

Modest Mouse took the stage on the first night with a set list composed of hit after hit.
Isaac Brock led his eccentric bandmates in songs like “Missed the Boat,” “Float On,” and “Dashboard.” The festival also featured former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way on the last stop of his tour promoting his debut solo album Hesitant Alien. Way’s set did not deviate from his current project despite the hopes that many fans had of hearing an MCR song. Nonetheless, fans were held captive by songs like “Millions” and “Juarez.”

Closing the first night of the festival, Florence and the Machine stormed the stage with songs both old and new but relying heavily on her 2015 release How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Florence Welch’s commanding voice and unmistakable stage presence drew one of the largest crowds in the festival, which she jumped into after stripping down to just her underwear.

A daring and theatrical performance was put on by Jane’s Addiction. While the musical highlights include songs like “Ain’t No Right” from 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual, “Just Because” from 2003’s Strays, and “Mountain Song” off of 1998’s Nothing’s Shocking, it was the live performance aspect that had fans in awe. A combination of shock and disbelief hit the crowd as two female dancers flew over the stage suspended by hooks in their flesh during the closing number, “Whores.”

Nothing was more fitting for the Halloween based festival than closing on  Oct. 31 with a performance by Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Guest performers like Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine joined Ozzy on stage for “Bark at The Moon” and “Mr. Crowley.” As if that once in a lifetime performance had not already made the show, Slash jumped on stage bringing punishing guitar riffs to the song “Children of the Grave,” which ended in fireworks. Ozzy ended the night by spraying the audience with a fire extinguisher before ending his set with “Crazy Train” and two encores, “Mama I’m Coming Home” and “Paranoid”.

“Thank you so much for sticking it out in this f***ing dreadful weather. I love you all,” said Osbourne graciously, as he bowed down on his knees before leaving the stage.

Unfortunately, the third and final day of the VooDoo Festival was cancelled due to heavy rain and flash flooding in the area. Performances by artists like Deadmau5, Chance the Rapper, Zac Brown Band, and the Cult were either cancelled or moved to other nearby venues due to the situation. “The decision to cancel today was based on the safety of the Tribe – fans, artists, staff, vendors, and all involved,” the festival organizers tweeted Sunday. Next year’s festival is set to take place on Oct. 28 to 30 and tickets are already available for pre-order.