As each school-year comes to an end—somehow seemingly quicker than the year preceding—the time comes to begin worrying about finals, grades, and summer plans. However, come finals season, Tulane students are in for a special musical treat. Each spring, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival rocks the city for two weekends, ushering in headlining acts from all over the country, as well as hosting plenty of local artists of all genres. This year, like all other years, Jazz Fest falls on the weekends of April 25th and May 5th, which for many students is smack in the middle of their busy finals schedule. So how do we prioritize both?
At the end of my freshman year at Tulane, I remember hearing the buzz and chatter about the Jazz Fest line-up, the incredible food, and the plethora of local artists and craftsmen showcasing their talents. I knew I desperately wanted to attend this event and see what the hype was all about, but was discouraged upon realizing that my final exams fell on the Friday of both weekends. While that meant I couldn’t see the particular artist I was looking forward to, I still wanted to experience Jazz Fest. After some forethought and planning, I decided to spend each Saturday at the festival, as a weekly reward for hours spent stressing and studying for my exams.
This proved to be a successful tactic, as I was able to focus during the week on my academic responsibilities, spend a full day without worry, enjoy the music, and then recuperate on Sunday and prepare for the following week of academic and social events. Jazz Fest headliners end their sets on the early side for music festivals, at 7 PM, so you can even spend a full day at the festival and return home for a full night of sleep.
Another added benefit that makes Jazz Fest a flexible festival to experience is the method of ticket sales. If you purchase a one-day ticket for the festival, you can use that ticket for any day of the designated weekend. Meaning if you purchase a ticket with the intention of going on Friday, but on second thought realize you’re not as prepared for your final as you anticipated, your ticket is still valid for any day of the festival that weekend.
With final exam dates and long hours spent studying in the library, many of my peers have found it difficult to experience the festival while still being studious and conscientious of their academic responsibilities. We have all been tempted to simply forget or ignore the demands of a busy finals schedule to instead spend the day in the sun at the fairgrounds eating Crawfish Monica and listening to soulful music. However, if you plan your time well, you won’t have to make the choice between doing well on your exams and enjoying yourself at Jazz Fest.
COVER PHOTO: The Advocate