October 11, 2023 | From City of New Orleans

City of New Orleans, Office of Nighttime Economy Unveil Musician Loading Zones

City of New Orleans, Office of Nighttime Economy Unveil Musician Loading Zones


NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined Office of Nighttime Economy (ONE) Director Howard Kaplan, Preservation Hall Owner Ben Jaffe and Preservation Hall Musical Director Wendell Brunious on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to officially unveil the first of many Musician Loading Zones throughout the city.  

“In 2022, we created the Office of Nighttime Economy, designed to bridge the gap that we have been seeing between New Orleans’ nightlife and City government,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This administration continues to lead the way in promoting, protecting and preserving our culture, and specifically our musicians, culture bearers and venues. The way we do that is by investing in those who make up the beautiful fabric of our city, carefully listening to their concerns and bringing forth solutions. These loading zones will benefit our city and cultural community by improving safety and economic viability, cutting down on parking infractions and parking costs for our musicians who are being overburdened and providing clarity for City departments on how to accommodate musicians as a business enterprise. This is just one way we continue to recognize our culture bearers’ value and economic significance to the city.” 

On Feb. 17, 2019, the City Council amended section 154-868 of the City Code to allow for “Musician Loading Zones.” Similar to designated Passenger Zones, the Musician Loading Zones will allow a vehicle to park in the marked space for up to 15 minutes to load or unload equipment before and after a scheduled performance at a venue that holds a Mayoralty Permit.   

“Gigging is tough enough without worrying about getting the gear from your car,” said Kaplan. “Culture is economy, and this is our opportunity to lead the way in creating a stronger economic safety net for our cultural community. This is the first of many steps we are taking to protect our culture bearers and support them in any way we can.” 

This sign outside Preservation Hall marks the first of many Musician Loading Zones that will be posted outside other world-famous venues throughout the city. Others to be unveiled in the coming weeks include DBA and Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street, as well as the Maple Leaf on Oak Street. The City currently anticipates being able to install 100 of these zones in the coming year.  

“The musician community truly appreciates any and all efforts to improve the lives of working musicians,” said Jaffe. “Thanks to the Mayor and City Council for making this a reality and getting this to the finish line. As someone who grew up in the French Quarter, this is a significant part of our ability to earn a living as a working musician in the city. We have more working musicians per capita than any other city in the world, and we should wear that proudly. I am excited to see the lasting impression this will have on our cultural community.” 

“This initiative has been 61 years in the making,” said Brunious. “I am the first one the utilize this space, and I am proud of that. God bless Mayor Cantrell, God bless Preservation Hall and God Bless our musicians.” 

Applications for a Musician Loading Zone permit can be found on the ONE webpage under the Musician Loading Zones tab. Once completed and reviewed, the application can be picked up at the ONE office at Gallier Hall or emailed directly to the venue. The permit will allow for parking in loading zones within two blocks of the venue.   


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