Guide to Jax Jazz Fest

This one goes out to all you hepcats out there, please snap along. Here’s the low down on the coolest fest in town, when Jacksonville becomes “Jazzville” with horns, pianos and beats taking over Downtown streets and music lovers gathering to chill. Consider this your invitation to dance along to our sweet beats.

What’s the Skinny?

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country! Every Memorial Day Weekend since 1981, thousands of Jazz lovers from across the nation gather in Downtown Jacksonville to celebrate the music, culture and art of Jazz by the river.


The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is free, but those looking for the ultimate fan experience can upgrade to the VIP Experience for one day ($89-$169) or all three days ($279-$349). This includes exclusive up-front seating, reserved parking, food and beverage specials, dedicated VIP Bars, merchandise and more!

Where to Stay and How to Get There

There are three official Jazz Fest Hotels, all with special rates. The Omni Jacksonville Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront are both within walking distance from the festival main stages. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront is across the river but just a short ride on the river taxi (just $5 each way) or the free Jacksonville Skyway will get you to the middle of the action. Book early because Downtown Jacksonville hotels fill up early for Jazz Fest. Miss out on those three? Don’t worry, you can find plenty of other options here. Driving in? Downtown Jacksonville has more than 43,000 parking spaces including parking garages, metered street parking (free on weekends and after 6 on weekdays) and peripheral parking. Click here for a parking database.

Get some Grub

You’ll have your pick of food trucks and other food vendors at the festival, but Downtown Jacksonville is also home to some seriously tasty restaurants. Get your Tex-Mex fix at the Burrito Gallery or find the best bahn mi (and other great sandwich options) at Chomp Chomp. Try Super Food & Brew’s famous mac & cheese balls or head over to Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop. Craving Asian? Head to Indochine. Greek? Zodiac Bar and Grill. There are more than 50 restaurants to choose from in Downtown, so you’ll have plenty of tasty options all weekend.

So that’s the skinny on Jazz Fest, but there’s always cool new groups and unique deals popping up so head to for even more information.