Many Super Bowl events are invitation-only, but the Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard presents many of the area's best musicians for free.

Photo of Trombone Shorty
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave.

The circus that surrounds the Super Bowl has changed exponentially since New Orleans last hosted one in 2002, and it will be most evident along the river. From Jackson Square to Convention Center Boulevard, the Convention Center and the Mardi Gras World parking lot (the home of a Saturday celebrity beach football game and Justin Timberlake concert), the city's landscape has been or will be transformed into a branded VIP wonderland, and the football will be the excuse more than the reason for excess (Mark Waller's done some good writing on this at Fortunately, there is something for locals and the unlaminated to do besides gawk. The Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard at Woldenberg Park will feature free New Orleans music on four stages starting Thursday and continuing until early afternoon Sunday. Here's the schedule:

Thursday, Jan 31

NFC Stage
5:40 p.m.: Stooges Brass Band
8:40 p.m.: Bonerama

AFC Stage
5 p.m.: Lyle Henderson & Emanu-EL
7:20 p.m.: Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys

North End Zone Stage
5 & 7:20 p.m.: Original Dixieland Jazz Band
6 p.m.: Hot Club of New Orleans
8:40 p.m.: Stooges Brass Band

South End Zone Stage
5 p.m.: Cameron Dupuy & The Cajun Troubadours
6 & 7:20p.m.: High Ground Drifters Bluegrass Band
8:40p.m.: Hot Club of New Orleans

Friday, Feb 1

NFC Stage
11 a.m.: Lagniappe Brass Band
1:30 p.m.: TBC Brass Band
4 p.m.: The Iguanas
6:30 p.m.: Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers
9:15 p.m.: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

AFC Stage
12:15 p.m.: Gal Holiday & The Honky Tonk Revue
2:45 p.m.: James Andrews
5:15 p.m.: Pine Leaf Boys
7:45 p.m.: Walter "Wolfman" Washington & The Roadmasters

North End Zone Stage
10:15 & 11:40 a.m.: Tuba Skinny
1:05 p.m.: Lagniappe Brass Band
2:40 & 5:50 p.m.: Ingrid Lucia
4:05 p.m.: Barbara Shorts
7:15 p.m.: James Andrews
8:55 p.m.: Leo Jackson & The Melody Clouds

South End Zone Stage
10:30 a.m.: TBC Brass Band
12 & 1:35 p.m.: The Palmetto Bug Stompers
3:15 p.m.: Gal Holiday & The Honky Tonk Revue
5:05 p.m.: Mem Shannon
6:55 p.m.: The Iguanas
8:35 p.m.: Pine Leaf Boys

Saturday, Feb 2

NFC Stage
12:15 p.m.: John Mooney
3 p.m.: Sunpie & The LA Sunspots
5:45 p.m.: Tab Benoit
8:30 p.m.: Rebirth Brass Band

AFC Stage
11 am: Meschiya Lake
1:30 p.m.: Creole String Beans
4:15 p.m.: Lost Bayou Ramblers
7 p.m.: Roddie Romero & The Hub-City Allstars

North End Zone Stage
10:45 a.m. & 12:25 p.m.: Mahogany Brass Band
2:05 p.m.: Meschiya Lake
3:40 p.m.: John Mooney
5:30 & 8:25 p.m.: Viváz
7:10 p.m.: Betty Winn & One A-Chord

South End Zone Stage
10:45 a.m & 1:55 p.m.: Lars Edegran's New Orleans Jazz Band
12:20 & 3:30 p.m.: Kristin Diable
5:05 & 8:25 p.m.: Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band
6:45 p.m.: Sunpie & The LA Sunspots

Sunday, Feb 3

NFC Stage
10:10 & 11:10 a.m.: Cynthia Girtley's Gospel
12 p.m.: Soul Rebels

AFC Stage
10:40 a.m.: Charmaine Neville Band
12:30 p.m.: Papa Grows Funk

North End Zone Stage
10:15 a.m. & 12:55 p.m.: Treme Brass Band
11:25 a.m.: Tim Laughlin

South End Zone Stage
10:15 a.m. & 1 p.m.: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio
11:30 a.m.: David Doucet Cajun Trio

This is a very entertaining lineup, but seriously - no rock? no hip-hop? no EDM? None of the musics that people listen to most? Organizers would rather put some bands on twice than have any of that music? Besides being an insult to everybody in a band that doesn't have a horn, accordion or fiddle, it also furthers the notion that New Orleans is a place to go for a musical vacation before you go home to the music you like the rest of the year.