Voodoo Music Experience 2012 in New Orleans this weekend will draw in thousands of music lovers, regardless of their weekend class schedules.
Unexpected obstacles and organizational decisions set the 13th annual festival apart from previous years. In the wake of Billy Joe Armstrong’s Sept. 21 breakdown at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and subsequent self-admission into a substance abuse treatment facility, Green Day canceled its headlining performance at Voodoo and was replaced by Metallica.
The festival also arranged camping opportunities for the first time since its inception. “Crossroads Campsite” offers 12-by-12 foot camp sites for groups of two or three people for four nights. While prices range from $150 to $215 depending on the number of campers and vehicles, these packages do not include ticket admission to the festival. They do, however, require campers to purchase festival tickets before camping.
With a lineup that meshes electronic dance music, hip-hop, metal, folk and blues, the festival panders to a diverse audience. Headlining and popular acts from varied backgrounds aim to deliver for each of these realms, with Voodoo loosely placing these genres together with some similar bands performing back to back on the same stages.
Le Plur/The Red Bulletin stage will host electronic dance music for nearly the entirety of the weekend, with headlining acts like Skrillex and old school electronic rockers Justice. Similarly, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will headline with their unreleased album “Psychedelic Pill” on Friday, but not before blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. performs his brand new “Blak and Blu,” and folk heroes The Avett Brothers loosen up the crowd on the same stage.
Along with headliners and established openers, a variety of respected and budding local acts will add native flare to the lineup, from blues musicians and brass bands to electronic producers.
Local EDM producer Christoph Andersson will perform at Voodoo for the third year in a row as part of a set with fellow producer Christopher Joseph, which Andersson said will prove different from previous years’ performances.
“We’re tag-teaming this year,” he said. “We’re DJing together, so both of us will be doing different stuff from our usual sets.”
Andersson cited the growing amount of electronic music at the festival as a key reason for his return each year.
“Every year there’s more of an emphasis on the electronic stage, and it’s really great,” he said. “There’s a trend worldwide of electronic music and the DJ being the prominent, mainstream and relevant music right now — for better or worse — so Voodoo keeps up with what people are listening to.”
While electronic music grows increasingly popular and influential in the festival lineup, other innovative New Orleans-based bands like Anders Osborne and The Revivalists continue to garner respect and praise outside the city with newly released gems and country-wide touring.
The Revivalists performed for the festival last year as well, but this year the group will have the entirety of its April-released “City of Sound” album and some previously unreleased material to perform for fans, said guitarist and cofounder Zack Feinberg.
“We actually have another album’s worth of songs we’re playing live also, and we’re getting really good feedback off of those as well,” he said.
The band enlisted the production skills of Galactic saxophonist Ben Ellman on “City of Sound,” which Feinberg said lent a unique interpretation of The Revivalists’ sound.
“It’s different sounding in the production sense and also in the sense that we’re a much more mature band when we recorded it than we were in the previous [recordings],” he said. “I think we’re going to continue to see that as it grows on our future releases.”
Similarly to Andersson, The Revivalists plan to invite several special guests to play with them on stage as a surprise for fans.
General Admission tickets for each day of The Voodoo Music Experience are still on sale for $90, while weekend passes cost $175.