If you have a craving for good music, barbecue and tacos this weekend, Baton Rouge’s newest summer festival is the event for you. The inaugural Bandito Festival is this Saturday, June 22, noon-10 p.m. at the Galvez Plaza in downtown Baton Rouge.
Bandito Fest organizers say the festival is “a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll,” with a lineup of alt-country legends (who you can read about here) and some friendly food competition.
Some of the Capital City’s favorite local restaurants will vie for the title of Best BBQ and Best Tacos, including BRQ Seafood & Barbeque, Bumsteers, Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, The Big Cheezy, Gov’t Taco, Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine, Cou-Yon’s, Hebert’s Specialty Meats and The Rum House.
A judging panel will announce the winners at 8 p.m. before the final musical act of the evening. Attendees can purchase the dishes from individual food vendors and use the hashtag #banditofest on social media to give a shoutout to their favorites.
Admission to the festival is free, but guests can purchase VIP tickets that include exclusive stage viewing, tented areas, food and drink tickets, and access to the after party. Individual tickets for the after party at Happy’s Irish Pub are $15.
The Old State Capitol will be offering free admission throughout the day for festivalgoers to take a break from the heat. On the lawn of the Old State Capitol, guests will find the Bandito Fest Kids Zone, featuring face painting and activities with GymFit.
The music lineup begins at 1 p.m. with Grinders and closes at 10 p.m. with The Old 97’s. Attendees can also hear other musicians at a bluegrass-themed show at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, 1-7 p.m.
Proceeds from the Bandito Fest benefit Behind the Line Baton Rouge, a nonprofit dedicated to making a difference in the lives of first responders and their families.
The Bandito Festival will also hold a pre-party at Happy’s Irish Pub on Friday, June 21. Tickets will be available at the door.