The Big Easy's BUKU Festival Returns in 2018 for Lucky Number Seven

Photo by Grace Kelly for Bullet Music

If New Orleans' BUKU Festival could be personified, it would exist in the form of Dazed and Confused's smooth - albeit problematic - David Wooderson (played by Matthew McConaughey. Quoted, he says "That's what I love about these festival kids, man. I get older, they stay the same age." This March 9-10, BUKU returns to the banks of the Mississippi for its 7th Annual installment of millennial-targeted music, art and culture. Since its debut in 2012, BUKU's main goal has been to serve up exactly what younger audiences are listening to: primarily hip-hop and EDM. While what's “cool” in music changes from minute to minute, BUKU consistently delivers a fresh line-up year after year. This year is no exception, which is why we're returning to New Orleans for the second year in a row (read our 2017 review here). The festival grounds have expanded to the other side of the tracks, and an all-new Wharf Stage has been added. These new developments have made space for 3,000 more concertgoers, bringing festival total capacity to 17,500.

Migos, credit Ben Watts

2018 headliners include Migos, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, and Bassnectar, who, at 40-years-old, may be the oldest person at BUKU. On the EDM side of things the fest is serving up Illenium, Alison Wonderland, Rezz, SNAILS, and Porter Robinson - who shall be performing under his new alias Virtual Self. The hip-hop category is incredibly well represented by Isaiah Rashad, Flatbush Zombies, Ski Mask the Slump God, Princess Nokia, the enigmatic Jay Electronica, and Rich The Kid (who is currently beefing with headliner Lil Uzi Vert, so watch our social media during the fest for live drama updates). Filed under “Other” are Sylvan Esso, A Day to Remember, Little Dragon, and MGMT, who, after a brief hiatus is back touring in support of their new album Little Dark Age. The full line-up can be viewed below.

Between acts, attendees can wander the oddly-scenic industrial port setting peppered with New Orleans' street performers, graffiti artists, local food vendors, and impromptu parades of revelers. BUKU 2018 is poised to be a record year, but let's just hope that nobody falls into the Mississippi this time.

Isaac Kozell

Writer and performer. New Orleans, LA.