Voodoo Experience

Voodoo Music Arts Experience
Snoop at Voodoo.jpg
Snoop Dogg performs on the main stage in 2011
GenreMusic festival
VenueCity Park
Location(s)New Orleans, www.voodoofestival.com

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (formerly "The Voodoo Music Experience"), commonly referred to as Voodoo or Voodoo Fest, is a multi-day music and arts festival held in City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Voodoo Experience has hosted more than 2000 artists and over one million festival goers during its existence. The festival has been twice nominated for Pollstar's Music Festival of the Year.[1] It was acquired by Live Nation Entertainment in 2013 and is produced by C3 Presents.[2] Don Kelly, Voodoo's former General Counsel and COO, is now Festival Director and oversees the event.[3]

The Voodoo Experience is known for including national artists from all genres such as Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Muse, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Tiësto, Nine Inch Nails, KISS, R.E.M., Modest Mouse, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Calvin Harris, The Weeknd, Deadmau5, The Black Keys, Neil Young, Green Day, Snoop Dogg, Duran Duran, Porcupine Tree, The Smashing Pumpkins, My Chemical Romance, 50 Cent, Cowboy Mouth and 311 as well as local Louisiana musicians such as The Original Meters, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rebirth Brass Band, and Dr. John.

Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine performs at Voodoo 2007


Since its 1999 Halloween weekend debut, the annual event has become a Halloween tradition to music fans, both locally and others who travel from around the world. Throughout Voodoo’s 20-year run, more than one million festival goers have gathered to see performances from about 2,000 artists. The event has also been twice nominated for Pollstar's Music Festival of the Year and in 2005, Voodoo founder Stephen Rehage and his team were presented with a key to the city, following the Voodoo 2005 post-Katrina event.

Voodoo’s annual line-up traditionally features top-tier and innovative artists from a variety of musical genres. Highlights from the last 15 years have included performances from Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Eminem, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Tiesto, Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5, No Doubt, Ozzy Osbourne, The Black Keys, Neil Young, Green Day, KISS, Snoop Dogg, Duran Duran, R.E.M. (in one of the band’s last U.S. performances), My Chemical Romance, 50 Cent and 311.

Creation and growth

Moby performs at the inaugural Voodoo in Tad Gormley Stadium.

Voodoo was first held as a single day event on October 30, 1999 at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. Planned and executed by Stephen Rehage, CEO of Rehage Entertainment, the festival consisted of three stages and a mix of local and national acts including headliners Wyclef Jean and Moby.

As the U.S. festival market swelled, Voodoo continued its growth, increasing both the festival site and musically expanding with the addition of stages and performers.

Rapper Eminem performs early in his career at Voodoo 2000

During its second year in 2000, Voodoo became to a two-day event and garnered international attention with a headlining performance from Eminem in support of his just-released three times platinum major studio debut The Slim Shady LP. In 2007, Voodoo expanded to a three-day event.

Hurricane Katrina

Nine Inch Nails headline Voodoo 2005

Originally scheduled for Halloween Weekend in New Orleans’ City Park, the Voodoo Music Experience was displaced by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. While plans were in full swing to move forward with relocation to Memphis, Voodoo founder Stephen Rehage met with community leaders in New Orleans about the opportunity to move the event back home for one of its two days—as a tribute event for relief workers. Festival organizers and Memphis representatives alike agreed this was an amazing opportunity to increase the scope of the event.

New Orleans event

On October 29, 2005, an invitation-only celebration (previous ticket holders exempt) for police, firefighters, National Guard, military and countless others who had aided in the recovery efforts of the city was staged at the Riverview "Butterfly" section of Audubon Park in New Orleans, one of the few public spaces in the city not damaged in the recent Federal levee failure disaster . Nine Inch Nails,Queens of the Stone Age, The Secret Machines, the New York Dolls, and Kermit Ruffins were among the artists who all came together in celebration of a city they love. [4]

It marked the first major multi-musical performance in the two months since Hurricane Katrina’s effects were felt in the city.

Memphis Event

Voodoo in Memphis included a fundraiser for victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in AutoZone Park.

2006 - present

The 2006 Voodoo Music Experience saw the debut of three distinct areas on six distinct stages within the festival’s landscape: Le Ritual, Le Flambeau and Le Carnival. Each of these areas was designed to uniquely showcase different sides of the personality of the festival and its New Orleans home: "Le Flambeau" features music and sounds consistent with the style of The Big Easy; "Le Ritual" features more mainstream music; and finally "Le Carnival" features indie bands, burlesque and circus acts.

In 2007, Voodoo expanded to three days and broke all previous attendance records with an estimated 100,000+ fans in attendance.

In April 2013, the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience announced an initial 15 acts to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Voodoo. The initial 15 acts include Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Calvin Harris, Bassnectar, Paramore, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Afrojack, Boys Noize, The Gaslight Anthem, Big Gigantic, How To Destroy Angels, Cults, Alkaline Trio, Desaparecidos and Robert DeLong. The 15th anniversary Voodoo celebration also marked the debut of City Park’s Festival Grounds, a new permanent home for Voodoo. Home to Voodoo since its 1999 debut—with the exception of Voodoo 2005 which was displaced by the city’s hurricane damage—New Orleans’ 1,300 acre City Park is the region’s principal recreation site that attracts over seven million visitors each year.