The non-profit New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the owner of the famed 35-year-old festival, had sought applications from other operators after the 2004 event lost money and left it without enough money to launch a 2005 festival. Festival Productions, which runs the Newport Jazz Festival and many similar events, has staged the New Orleans festival since its inception.
At a board meeting yesterday, the foundation's board voted to sign a new deal with Festival Productions. But the bidding process resulted in a far better financial position for the foundation, according to the Times-Picayune. Like the other two finalists in the bidding for the contract, Festival Productions agreed to provide $2 million in startup funds for next year's festival.