Beauvoir Park calls itself the best-kept secret in Baton Rouge for a reason.
Tucked under the Perkins Road overpass, the event venue has been active since spring 2019. It features an outdoor stage, backyard-esque hangout spot and a large outdoor event space.
Like most music venues across the country this year, Beauvoir Park went quiet in March because of the pandemic.
However, around the end of May, organizers decided to open its doors again, with new safety protocols in place. It is now one of the only venues in Baton Rouge consistently offering live performances.
“We felt musicians were some of the most hurt by the pandemic,” Beauvoir Park Music Promoter J. Hover says. “Once the guidelines started coming out and we started seeing events happening outside, we put some of our own guidelines in place and expanded with the state guidelines. We started opening back up slowly.”
The park encourages those who come to bring a blanket, quilt or something to sit on, and its team conducts temperature checks at the door.
Recently, they’ve been teaming up with the Manship Theatre for a frequent outdoor music series following state guidelines.
The downtown theater is usually a hub for visiting music acts, but arranging indoor performances during the COVID-19 outbreak had been challenging.
“We put our heads together and got creative,” Hover says. “It allowed them a platform to continue to do what they’re doing. It at least allows them to have a revenue stream.”
Some recent performers at Beauvoir Park include New Orleans folk and blues artists Shawn Williams and The Restoration Sound.
Being located in such a busy area helps, too, Hover says. While Beauvoir Park doesn’t serve drinks, events are BYOB—and beverages are easy to find within walking distance at nearby restaurants like the Overpass Merchant and Zippy’s.
Organizers are also starting to bring in vendors and food trucks to cater to attendees.
“We want to bring back a sense of normalcy,” Hover says. “I think people have been hungry for not only live music, but feeling safe at a cool and eclectic place like this. There’s really nothing like this in town.”
In addition to live music, the park offers yoga on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and hosts smaller weddings.
However, the space has really found its niche in live music.
“We want to help the community and help the musicians,” Hover says, “and do it as safely as we can.”