Bourbon Street Jazz Festival 2014 – Kids First Enterprise
The 2014 Bourbon Street Jazz Festival, organised by the local charity, Kids First Enterprise, was a blast according to my friend Angela Denny. As much as I would have loved to go, work commitments had me teaching the finer points of electronic gadgets and the pitfalls of social media to 16 teenagers. Where would you rather be….???
Anyways, Ange thankfully gave me the full lowdown including pics and videos….I’m definitely taking the night off next year and probably the day after…
A bit of background. Bourbon Street Jazz Festival is organised by “Kids First Enterprise“, a local charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged people in Vietnam. Their Arts for Mobility program organised the event and money raised goes towards manufacturing and donating wheelchairs and mobility products to children in need. The basic idea is to provide quality entertainement and create events that people will want to attend year after year. A great idea that means you have the opportuity to experience top class entertainment and give to those in need at the same time.
The festival took place at the Cargo Bar, 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh street, District 4 last Saturday (31st May 2014). Tickets were a 500,000 VND for a ticket, but 200,000 of that got you food and drink vouchers. And, of course, a good percentage of the rest went to the charity.
Everything was very reasonably priced so unless you really wanted to go for broke you weren’t likely to spend too much more . Food ranged between 40,000 and 60,000 VND (<$3), beers cost 40,000 VND which is less than you’d pay at many bars in District 1 and wine was a very reasonable 60,000 VND. Mixed drinks were available as well but as Ange doesn’t drink that much I’m not sure on the prices of those.
The event had a great turn out with over 1100 people attending. The venue is such that it didn’t feel over crowded in the least. Everything was really well organized, with no long lines and food and drink were plentiful. Everyone seemed to be having a really great time and the crowd was diverse, with a good mix of families, expats and local Vietnamese.
There were two stages set up, one one each end, and the music was well staggered to give people a chance to see a bit of everyone. The accoustics were great and there were no issues with sound conflicts from both ends of the venue. The shows started at 4pm with a performance from the British International School and continued right through to 1am. Artists were quite diverse and even included a Vietnamese Belly Danicng Troup! The pics on this page are just a few of the awesome bands that played:
Tastes Like Chicken is a really fun, upbeat funk band based in Vietnam with members from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Their music has lashings of James Brown and Afro Funk vitality.
The Wanderlusters are a super fun blue grass band. They play original Americana roots music that draws heavily from Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. These guys had everyone up and dancing.
Ange’s favorite, however, was Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges, a blues, souls singer from New Orleans. In her own words
“New Orleans is one of my favorite places on the planet- I thought it was pretty awesome to have him here in Saigon.”
Can’t ask for a better recommendation than that..
There was a wide variety of food on offer from well known restaurants around town. These included Pacharan (Spanish Tapas and Bodega), Alfrescos, Black Cat, El Gato Negro, Lucky Dog, Koto Saigon Restaurant and New Zealand Ice Cream. Angela had the red beans and rice from El Gato Negro and thought it was delicious.
So overall it was a big thumbs up from Angela and her friends. Great entertainement, in a well designed venue, good food, reasonable prices and a worthy cause. Well done to all involved. Roll on Jazzfest 2015. I’ll make sure I have the information up in the Entertainment section as soon as it’s released.
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