The Nice Jazz Festival is definitely hitting its groove, and if you haven’t been, you owe it to yourself to go. The 35€ ticket price might seem a bit steep, but not when you consider that you get a full night of 6 concerts, from 7:30pm to midnight, so you can really make a meal out of it, so to speak. The early concerts are much less crowded, so you can sit in the shade and have your space as the sun sets. There are numerous food booths plus 20 picnic tables, so space out your eating to coincide with each round of concerts: socca and rosé for the early concert, main course during the sunset middle concerts, and crepes and champagne for dessert when you’ll be on your feet, in the crowds, grooving to the moonlit music.
The Ville de Nice has learned from last year and tweaked a lot of things: the food booths are better and more plentiful, there’s a new picnic table area, bathroom facilities are more plentiful and much better (executive-style), and they even found ways to eek out more space: the press area has moved farther away, and the festival entrance has been pushed almost to the tram tracks, so there are now less distractions around the Massena stage. And they’ve even created a new ‘backdoor’ way to avoid the bottleneck on the way to the Theatre de Verdure stage: take the path around the press area and you’ll avoid the crowds, get there quicker, and get better seats.
If you are not a huge jazz fan and are not sure that you can take a full night of it, go tonight when there is a diverse mix: first ’60s acid rock/jazz with the Jimi Brown Experience, then the eclectic Dr. John, and to finish the soiree you have your choice of New Orleans brass with Trombone Shorty or more mainstream folk/rock Texas. Tomorrow, the jazz alternative is wild Balkan rock that will have you on your feet with Emir Kusurica and the No Smoking Orchestra.
The number of trams are reinforced at the start and the end of the festival each night, making access really easy, and you can use the free park and rides (details here) for the price of your tram ticket.
Related Page: Jazz Festivals on the Cote d’Azur