Tipitina's is a neighborhood music institution, located in Uptown New Orleans, that was founded in the late 70s to honor the legendary rhythm and blues great, Professor Longhair. This standing-room-only, banana-yellow venue, is the spot to catch both local and national acts. Tipitina's is open only when there is an event and features some of the best concerts you'll find in the New Orleans area. There's two floors for your dancing and listening pleasure and full bar service. Downstairs is generally more crowded and there's more dancing, so make your way to the balcony if you want to avoid the crowd; don't worry, you'll hear the music fine from wherever you are.
Parking and public transportation at Tipitina's
There's plenty of street parking in the area near the venue. If you're using public transportation, several buses will get you there. You can take the #10 Tchoupitoulas, #11 Magazine or the #28 M.L.King, using direct or connecting lines, depending on where you're staying. You can also take the St. Charles Ave. streetcar and walk about ten blocks or connect with M.L.King line. Make sure you check the Regional Transit Authority website for exact operating schedule to verify that the buses are still running at the end of your event. The streetcar typically runs into the wee hours of the morning but some bus services end around mid-night.
Getting tickets at Tipitina's
You can order tickets online through Ticketweb.com, but you'll have to pick them up at "will-call" when you arrive for your event. There's a fee of around $5.00 and they do ask for an optional $2.00 donation to help support the Tipitina's Foundation, a non-profit that is well-known in the New Orleans community for providing a variety of musical programs for both aspiring and practicing musicians. You can also purchase tickets daily from the box office. If you come to the event sans ticket, expect to wait in a long line. Also, bring your ID, because they generally card everyone (you must be 18 or over).
Types of concerts at Tipitina's
At Tipitina's, you'll find a mixed bag of big-named acts and local favorites, representing all genres of music. Everyone from local favorites like Trombone Shorty, Dr. John , the Neville Brothers and Better Than Ezra to national acts like Tim McGraw, the Goo Goo Dolls, Lenny Kravitz and Parliament Funkadelic have taken the stage at Tipitina's. If you like New Orleans-style brass bands, this is probably one of the best places to catch one live, like the Brass-a-Holics. You can even learn Cajun dancing at the weekly Cajun Fais Do-Do featuring Bruce Daigrepont.
Other places to visit near Tipitina's
Another great music club in this area is the Maple Leaf Bar, an institution in its own right. With a name like Le Bon Temps Roulé ("let the good times roll"), you can't help but have a good time in this cozy neighborhood dive. If you want to venture away from the Uptown area, Mid-City is a short drive and has some great bars, like Chickie Wah Wah, which usually has live music each night.
Where to stay near Tipitina's
The best neighborhood to stay near Tipitina's is the historic Garden District. It has great restaurants, numerous hotels, is very walkable and you can access public transportation in a snap. The Mid-City area is another great neighborhood to consider, although you won't find as many hotels but you can find some nice bed and breakfasts there and you're close to many attractions and public transportation.
Insider tip for visitors to Tipitina's
If you're in town during the summer you can attend a free concert at Tipitina's during Foundation Free Fridays. It's a great chance to see local acts and get a feel for the venue without shelling out any dough.
Author's bio: Myra Faye Turner writes from New Orleans. She has never attended an event at Tipitina's that she didn't like.