The last weekend in October is evolving into the best weekend in October for lovers of roots music and South Louisiana culture.
That other cool festival in October closes out the month. By Walter Pierce / Photos by Lucius Fontenot
Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
The last weekend in October is evolving into the best weekend in
SOUTH LOUISIANA BLACK POT FESTIVAL
Admission: $20 on Friday; $25 on Saturday*
(Saturday's admission includes tastings of cookoff foods)
Children under 12 get in free
*Admission does not include
October for lovers of roots music and South Louisiana culture. Now gearing up for its fifth go-round, the South Louisiana Black Pot Festival & Cookoff - known to regulars simply as Black Pot - combines the fraternity of local and regional musicians and local and regional cooks getting together over a weekend, pitching tents or plugging in RVs and simply having a damn good time. Multiple stages featuring everything from Cajun and zydeco to Appalachian music, not to mention the campfire jams that pop up all around the Acadian Village grounds when the P.A.s are turned off and revelers begin to turn in for the night, make Black Pot a unique event for Acadiana.
The festival was the brainchild of members of the Red Stick Ramblers, a hugely popular roots/swing band that has been pulling in robust crowds to venues across the Gulf Coast and most especially in their native Louisiana for more than a decade.
"It's modeled like a bluegrass festival or an old time festival they do pretty much everywhere [else but Louisiana]," says Chas Justus, the Ramblers' guitarist. "The Red Stick Ramblers have traveled so much, I think the influence of those sort of festivals made us seek out doing something like that."
The Ramblers headline both the Friday and Saturday nights of Black Pot, and that's by design. "If you want to headline a festival you need to start your own festival," admits Justus. "But more significant is we wanted to start an event that combined what we thought were the best things about other events throughout the world. We had a lot of perspective on it."
Attendance at the festival has skyrocketed since its inception when several hundred locals turned out, joining a few dozen out-of-towners. "Half the people that come to it now are from out of town," Justus says. "But it wouldn't have been successful the first year if the local people hadn't come out and supported it and have been supportive. We didn't have that out-of-town thing the first year; we had 20 or 30 people and about 500 locals.
There are people that are returning this year from Australia and Vancouver.
And while the music is diverse - just about anything fitting under the roots/indigenous music umbrella - the sounds will be familiar to Acadiana ears, and with good reason, says Justus: "It's going to be built around the resources that are so plentiful as far as the musicians that are right down the road. Our greatest resource is our culture here."
Performers at Black Pot 2012 include, of course, the Red Stick Ramblers along with Lost Bayou Ramblers, the Westbound Rangers, the Huval Family Band, the Firecracker Jazz Band, Laura Cortese, the Pine Leaf Boys, the Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Maya Lerman, Walter Mouton & The Scott Playboys, Murphy Beds, Gleny Rea Virus & Her Playboys, Les Bassettes, King James, Brian Marshall, Preston Frank & Ed Poullard, Ginny & Tracy, and Los Tex Mainiacs. Early and evening performances last about 45 minutes. The late bands play longer.
For Black Pot info, check out the festival website at BlackPotFestival.com
BLACK POT COOKOFF
Categories: gravy (sauces, gumbo), cracklin and jambalaya
Entry fees: $50 amateur, $75 civic groups, $100 professionals
For further information on cookoff rules, contact Linzay Young at [email protected]