Gator By The Bay Festival Returns to San Diego for 15th Year This May 5-8 | Enter To Win 2 Tickets

April 3, 2016

The Louisiana-themed Zydeco, Blues and Crawfish festival returns to San Diego for its 15th year this May 5-8! Gator By The Bay is the largest, most authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou, taking place at Spanish Landing Park across from the San Diego International Airport. Presented by San Diego’s Bon Temps Social Club, the event features four days of live music with over 90 musical acts and special performances on seven stages, along with 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked from Louisiana, non-stop dancing, shopping, playing and eating on the beautiful San Diego Bay. We are raffling off 2 single-day tickets for Saturday, May 7.

“This one-of-a-kind festival offers attendees the chance to experience Louisiana culture, lots of lively music and flavorful food - it’s like a Mardi Gras party, but in May!” said Gator By The Bay producer Peter Oliver. “We are thrilled to provide San Diegans with this yearly celebration that brings Louisiana’s eclectic cuisine and culture right to our bay.”

Since its inception in 2001 the festival has grown to showcase not only Grammy winning Cajun and Zydeco artists directly from Louisiana, but also legendary Chicago and California blues artists, rockabilly and roots performers and award-winning salsa and Latin bands. This year, guests will enjoy an expanded schedule of over 90 diverse musical and dance performances on seven stages throughout the event. The festival has become an annual must-do for enthusiasts of all ages who’ve come from not only throughout California, but 39 other U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Gator By The Bay will kick off with a concert headlined by C.J. Chenier, son of the Grammy Award-winning legendary “King of Zydeco”, Clifton Chenier, on Thursday, May 5 from 6:30 to 10:30pm. C.J. was literally born into the musical tradition of southwest Louisiana and Texas Zydeco, a chugging, accordion-led blend of French Creole and African-derived influences.

The festival boasts five wooden dance floors, including two 3,000 square foot covered dance floors at each of the two main stages. Dance floors will be filled with thousands of pairs of feet throughout the weekend - whether they’re twirling to Cajun waltzes, two-stepping to a lively Creole zydeco beat, swinging and jitterbugging to blues and boogie-woogie, or moving to spicy Latin sounds. Dancing is strongly encouraged with free lessons throughout the day.

The French Quarter Food Court at Gator By The Bay features the authentic tastes of Louisiana, with many vendors making the cross-country trip just for the festival. Revelers will fill up on fresh Louisiana-raised crawfish, boudin sausage, catfish, alligator, barbecue and oysters. There will be mouth watering Louisiana favorites including gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys and etouffée. For dessert there will be a Southern selection of beignets, sweet potato pie, homemade ice cream, pralines and bread pudding.

All areas of the festival are open to children to enjoy the music, color, spirit and activities of the event. Special activities for the kids include participating in the costumed Mardi Gras parades and making outrageous hats with the Rad Hatter. Retail therapy is also offered by carefully selected vendors in the market area, featuring Mardi Gras-inspired goods and clothing, art, hand-made jewelry, dancing shoes, clothing and accessories. On the intimate Bayou Grove Stage, visiting musicians will tell the stories about the heritage of their crafts, and in the Food Pavilion, Louisiana and local chefs give cooking demos and tastings. There is plenty for all at Gator By The Bay.

Thursday night concert tickets range in price from $25 to $95. Festival tickets range from $35 to $40, with discounts available for advance purchase and multiday passes. Children 17 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. Patron passes include access to the Patron Reception Area including a complimentary meal, personal meet and greet with festival headliners, complimentary craft beer from Kona Brewery, select wines, soft drinks and water, private shaded seating and upgraded restrooms and additional reserved shaded seating near both main stages. Patron Passes are available for $120 per day (Saturday or Sunday) or $200 for both days.

For more information and to purchase passes to Gator By The Bay, visit

Gator By The Bay 2016 Hours:
Thursday, May 5: 6:30 - 10:30pm
Friday, May 6: 3:30 - 10:30pm
Saturday, May 7: 10:30am - 8:30pm
Sun., May 8: 10:30am - 7:30pm