The annual music festival returns to City Park this weekend with a new footprint, a new layout, and an emphasis on newer bands.

Paramore photo

In recent years, Voodoo has at times felt like the festival wants to be something for everybody. This year’s lineup covers less ground. Headliners Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure have the broad appeal of classic rock (which is what they are in 2013), and Voodoo remains committed to a wide swath of New Orleans music, including Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Glen David Andrews, Coyotes, The Revivalists, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, G-Eazy, and Unicorn Fukr.

For the most part, Voodoo’s lineup is dominated by young acts, some of which are emerging, some of which emerged but you might have missed it if you weren’t looking in the right places. Youngblood Hawke’s “We Come Running” has almost 3 million views on YouTube, while Rudimental’s least-viewed official video on YouTube has only been seen almost 4 million times, while “Waiting All Night” has 46,202,443 views, and was one of the breakout bands from England’s festival season. Americana duo Shovels and Rope won Americana Music Awards earlier this fall, winning Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Birmingham.”

This year, Voodoo has some changes starting with a new footprint in City Park. It has moved from the sprawling space around Tad Gormley Stadium to City Park’s new Festival Grounds, which are found by bearing right after passing the New Orleans Museum of Art. Voodoo has four stages this year, and the divisions between them isn’t as neat as it has been in years past. The Flambeau Stage remains predominantly Louisiana-centric, but not solely so. The Carnival Stage bands can be theatrical, but they aren’t automatically so. Le Plur remains focused on dance music and DJs top the bill, but a number of performers including Rudimental, Beats Antique, and Keys N Krates are groups with a combination of traditional instruments, turntables, keyboards and samplers.

My Spilt Milk will dedicate much of this week to Voodoo, starting today with Will’s interview with Beats Antique and my encore presentation of a story I did in the spring with ZZ Ward. As the week goes by, we’ll have our picks and reviews from Voodoo. 

Because of Voodoo, we’ll shelve a couple of our weekly features. This Week’s Soundtrack and Milk and Honey will take a week off, but we do have Will’s Voodoo playlist to help you know who’ll perform this weekend and what they sound like.