Outdoor entertainment legalized in New Orleans


Anna Hummel

People enjoy the outdoors as they wait for entertainment to begin at Zony Mash on Friday, August 26 in New Orleans. Zony Mash is one of the many places who advocated for the allowance of outdoor entertainment.

Abigail Schmidt, Sports Editor

Outdoor entertainment was officially legalized in the city Aug. 4, appealing to New Orleans residents’ wishes to keep the aura of the pandemic’s outdoor concerts alive and well.

The New Orleans City Council made a unanimous decision to fully legalize outdoor entertainment for bars and restaurants, which allowed businesses to stay afloat during the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Times Picayune reported

The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans worked with former city councilmember Helena Moreno to get the law passed, and Zony Mash Brewery Director of Operations Alexis Annis hosted events at the brewery to advocate for the legalization of outdoor entertainment

“As a city that relies on tourism,” Annis said “it is central to our cultural economy. Other cities have worked hard to find ways to allow for live outdoor entertainment, and it is long overdue in New Orleans.”

Sophomore Jazz Studies major Noah Rozell said he believes that “ideally, there would be no laws restricting live music.”
City Hall decided to give the matter permanent legal status after a 2015 sound ordinance was implemented and repeatedly ignored by Mayor Latoya Cantrell, the Times Picayune said. According to Annis, a City Planning Commission was completed four years ago before the pandemic, responsible for recommending a path forward for live outdoor entertainment. Powerful neighborhood associations fought it, and it was tabled. During the pandemic, temporary outdoor live entertainment permits were allotted to venues and made for an unintentional case study, said Annis. As the temporary permits were running out and the city was no longer renewing them, the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans picked the work back up and started working closely with Moreno’s office to do the work to get it passed.
Entertainment venues along with City Hall unanimously voted to fully legalize outdoor entertainment urgently, because “Cantrell’s emergency pandemic order allowing them could vanish at any time,” reported the Times Picayune. Her order “removed the cap on the number of special event permits businesses could receive a year for live outdoor entertainment — 8 individual events for a max of 24 days — but Cantrell could end the order at any point,” according to Celebrity Land.
“This is definitely a positive step,” said Tipitina’s General Manager Brian “Tank” Greenberg. He said he believes that New Orleans should have as many opportunities for entertainment as possible. “The more stages the better; this isn’t a competition…outdoor venues are the perfect opportunity to have more voices heard and bring it to the masses.”
Greenberg said that during the height of the pandemic, outdoor entertainment was the only opportunity for business at Tipitina’s. He discussed how, while this did come with a cost for places like the Art Market on Frenchman Street, it was the ultimate “bread and butter” of the entertainment business in COVID-19-era shutdowns.
And Loyola’s next door neighbor, Tulane University, also has members of its community advocating for venues to host outdoor entertainment.
“Allowing more opportunities for entertainment can open plenty of doors for people, especially in a recession,” said Tulane student Kirsten Bazet.
Bazet said that overall, having legal outdoor entertainment is a plus for the city.

“New Orleans is a city of artists- without them, we wouldn’t be New Orleans,”Bazet said.