Crawfest to boil 10 tons of crawfish, bring The Wailers to campus

Julia Engel, Staff Reporter

During Tulane’s annual Crawfest festival, starting at 11 a.m. April 18, 10 tons of crawfish, 10,000 festival goers and eight bands will take over the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life and Newcomb Quad. Crawfest tickets are free to Tulane students, and admission costs $10 for the general public.

This year marks the ninth consecutive Crawfest, and it has come a long way since its inception.

“In its inaugural year, there were eight small local bands and a mere six tons of crawfish,” senior Morgan Wittenberg, the Chair of Crawfest, said. “What was intended to be a one-time event soon grew into the festival that we know today.”

Each year Crawfest draws in bigger headliners, more local businesses and, of couse, more crawfish. Wittenberg said this year will be no exception.

“With eight strong and well-known bands coupled with food trucks, food vendors, art and clothing vendors from around the city, and tons of free ‘CrawSwag,’ we’re optimistic that it’s going to be the best one yet,” Wittenberg said.

Of course the main food attraction at the event is crawfish, but if spicy swamp critters aren’t your thing, the festival has plenty of other delicious options. Thousands of pounds of vegetables are served at the Veggie Boil, and food trucks will surround the quads.

The Crawfest board has assembled a diverse and noteworthy group of bands to play at this year’s festival. The Wailers, a Jamaican reggae band founded in 1969 and known for its work with Bob Marley, will be headlining the fest. New Orleans local favorites The Hot 8 Brass Band will be featured, along with Earphunk, 101 Runners and Khris Royal & Dark Matter. Outside of the locals, a ‘three-dimensional music’ group known as Twiddle is traveling down from Vermont to play, as well as The Tontons, a Houston-based, eccentric and psychedelic pop group.

Junior and Music Chair Charlie Cucciniello said the committee tried to bring an eclectic yet dance-friendly mix of music to festival goers.

“This year we tried to add a new, different feel to Crawfest with the headliner being a reggae band,” Cucciniello said. “[We] definitely chose bands that were easy to dance to and would create an exciting day of music, though.”

Between the variety of foods, music and artists lined up, the Crawfest board has tried to make sure there will be something to please everyone.

“Nothing brings people together like free food and wonderful music,” Wittenberg said. “Not to mention, when you throw in all of the amazing people in this community and make the backdrop of the festival New Orleans — you’d have an impossible time convincing me that there could be a better day of the year.”