The Landing festival gathers local talent for funk-filled weekend

Ben Shooter, Associate Arcade Editor

In a city of music, it is easy to overlook The Landing music festival. Located at South Shore Harbor, the festival’s lineup is relatively small, and the whole thing spans just one weekend — this Saturday and Sunday. For music fans, however,  The Landing manages to create its own unique atmosphere, and this year’s twenty performers are nothing to scoff at.

The Landing’s lineup creates an accessible indie feel that some of the bigger New Orleans festivals lack. It is dominated by a diverse assortment of local favorites like Sweet Crude, whose members refer to their own style of music as “drum pop” and Sexual Thunder!, a funk band made up of former Tulane students. The Soul Rebels, who perform the iconic style of brass band funk most commonly associated with modern second-line parades, will perform on Saturday, as will Quickie Mart, a DJ and proponent of electronic and bounce music. Sunday boasts Madd Wikkid, an artist who seems to dabble in everything from electronic and bounce to brass band jazz. Even Saturday’s headliner, the popular brass-funk band Galactic, calls New Orleans home. In typical New Orleans fashion, the festival also showcases New Orleans marching bands from Sophie B. Wright Charter School and West Jefferson High School.

Even the nationally touring acts coming from outside New Orleans are the kind of bands that are big enough to be recognized and appreciated, but not so big that they draw a disproportionate amount of attention and overshadow the local groups. Eagles of Death Metal, a California rock band known for it’s frequent collaboration with Josh Homme, and Cake, an alternative funk band known for hits like “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” are must-sees on Saturday. On Sunday, Grace Potter, known for her indie roots and association with the jam band scene, will perform, along with folk-rock festival giant Trampled By Turtles.

Really, The Landing belongs to Galactic and classic New Orleans music venue Tipitina’s. These two local entities are in charge of organizing the festival, booking the bands, and generally creating an experience that appeals to the New Orleans audience. In fact, they design the festival to offer continuous support to the New Orleans scene — some of the festival proceeds go to the Tipitina’s Foundation, which uses its resources to support local music.

Between musical sets, fans can find food from four New Orleans food trucks — Frencheeze, Food Drunk, Crepes a La Carte and Diva Dawg. The festival also boasts its own beer garden. Both nights of the festival will be concluded with fireworks displays.