Forget cruises. Hosting a Mardi Gras extravaganza is the new band gig.
Better Than Ezra, the band of "Good" fame, is hosting its second annual Krewe of Rocckus event during Mardi Gras in February.
Guests will be put up in the Hilton Riverside Hotel and spend three days in the land of the still-unidentified Ezra.
Tickets for the affair start at $599, and will include a welcome brunch with James Beard-winning chef John Besh (of August and Luke), a parade view, an open-bar river cruise, and two nights of music at the legendary House of Blues with an all-90s line up of Better Than Ezra, Tonic and others.
"We knew that, on paper, a 3-day event with an inside track to private events was good, but didn't expect it to be such a success," Kevin Griffin, the band's vocalist and guitarist, told HuffPost Travel via phone. "We were amazed that no one had done a destination event. Kid Rock and John Mayer have done cruises, so we took the idea and hosted our own event."
Griffin left his home in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and headed to Los Angeles. In January, he moved with his family to Nashville. As a self-described "New Orleanean" he knew that tourists often head to Cafe du Monde and the Oyster House, but he wanted to give a real local perspective to visitors. "We wanted to make Mardi Gras a richer experience of food and friends," he said.
With that in mind, the band put together a list of their favorite local spots--a band-curated Zagat's, if you will. It's a Better Than Ezra fan's guide to the city that can be applicable whenever, including Griffin's favorite Po-Boy joint (Verti Marte), oysters (char-grilled oysters at Drago's) and weirdest tourist attraction ("Marie Laveau's is the real deal.")
As for any additional favorites? Griffin told HuffPost his favorite music venue in New Orleans was either the Maple Leaf or Tiptina's, and his favorite coffee shop was "Rue de la Course. They make great artisan coffee and tea."
Check out photos from last year's event below.