Attend the Gator by the Bay - Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival

Experience Louisiana by way of San Diego at the Gator by the Bay festival, an annual celebration featuring zydeco and blues music, dancing, food, and more!
Jess Tucker
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Attend the Gator by the Bay Festival
Festival Overview 2024
Music & Food
Explore & Save
Activities for Families
Tickets & Parking
Stay Nearby

Join in on the Fun at Gator by the Bay

Parade at Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike ReardonPlaying Music at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon

The annual Gator by the Bay festival is once again coming to San Diego, bringing with it four nights of dancing, feasting, and family-friendly activities.

Through live music, food, and a contagious atmosphere, the festival by the San Diego Bay shines a spotlight on cajun and Creole culture.

Gator by the Bay runs from May 9-12, 2024, and tickets are on sale now!

Event History

The first Gator by the Bay festival was held in 2001. Since then, it’s become an annual event that brings the fun and excitement of Louisiana Mardi Gras to San Diego every May.

This music and food festival attracts attendees from all across the country, plus San Diegans too! Whether you’re familiar with the music scene of the bayou or you’re broadening your cultural horizons, Gator by the Bay is an excellent way to experience Louisiana’s claim to fame without leaving Southern California.

Stay Near the Event

Gator by the Bay will be held at Spanish Landing Park, right along the waterfront of the San Diego Bay and across from the San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Among the many great hotels by the airport, our team finds the tropical vibes of Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites to be the perfect pair for the festival.

Local Tips
Ready for some Blues?
Attend concerts by renowned names in the blues and zydeco music scenes, from Louisiana natives to globally-beloved acts.

Popular Hotels
Popular Hotels
Price
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
$189
Learn More
Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown
$152
Learn More
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown
$176
Learn More
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown
$152
Learn More

Music Lineup and the Incredible Food at the Gator by the Bay

With seven stages and over 100 live music acts, the diversity in artists is only matched by the array of options at the French Quarter Louisiana food pavilion.

Band on Stage at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon
Band on Stage at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon

Performer Lineup

Attend concerts by renowned names in the blues and zydeco music scenes, from Louisiana natives to globally-beloved acts.

Among the festival’s special performances in 2024 is a tribute to Clifton Chenier by Sonny Landreth, CJ Chenier, and Marcia Ball.

There will also be rock, western swing, boogie, salsa, and rockabilly performers.

Food Vendors

Fill up on classic New Orleans fare like Louisiana-raised crawfish bakes and beignets from vendors. Must-try favorites include jambalaya, po’boys, and bread pudding.

If you’re looking for another way to blend culture and cuisine, I highly recommend you consider one of my favorite food tours in Downtown San Diego - the Brothels Bites & Booze Tour.

Buy your tickets with a Go City San Diego pass using our discount code GVSD5OFF.

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San Diego Harbor Cruise
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Local Tips
What is a Go City San Diego pass?

The Go City San Diego pass allows visitors to experience more attractions while simultaneously saving money.

With the pass, you can visit San Diego’s top attractions like the San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND, all while saving up to 55% off on admissions. Plus, the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra

Dancing and Family Fun at the Festival

Gator by the Bay’s Mardi Gras in May celebration is completely family-friendly, and kids are invited to all areas of the event. Here are some fun things to do for all ages!

Jazz  Band Playing at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon
Jazz Band Playing at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon

Costumed Parades

Kids are invited to watch the Mardi Gras parade, where vibrantly-costumed performers become the life of the party.

Want to join in the fun? The festival dance floors are open to all ages.

Shopping and Crafting

Check out the market area to shop the wares of dozens of vendors. There, you’ll find handmade goods, including Mardi Gras-themed clothing and jewelry.

Plus, kids can create commemorative hats with crazy designs with a little help from the festival’s resident Rad Hatter!

Tickets & Parking for the Gator by the Bay Events

Women Dressed Up at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon
Women Dressed Up at the Gator by the Bay - Photo by Mike Reardon

You’ll surely want to know how tickets work if you’re planning on attending the Gator by the Bay Festival. If you’re going to drive, you’ll also need to know where to park.

Ticket Options

Tickets can be purchased online. Prices vary based on the day of the week and if you’d like a multi-day pass.

  • Thursday: $63
  • Friday: $75
  • Saturday: $85
  • Sunday: $80
  • Any single day: $85
  • 3-day pass (Fri-Sun): $230
  • 4-day pass (Thurs-Sun): $295
  • Saturday night dance at Sheraton Hotel (does not include festival admission): $25

Kids 17 and under can attend for free with a paying adult.

Parking

There are three parking lots in Spanish Landing Park. If these fill up, street parking is available nearby.

An alternative option would be to park away from the venues in Downtown San Diego and grab the electric shuttle service, the FRED Shuttle.

Featured Hotel
Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites
Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Suites
Bayfront
Bayfront
Families
Families
Museums
Museums
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
A tropical oasis, seasonal fusion cuisine, & concerts by the bay with world-renowned artists are just some of the reasons to visit this luxury Point Loma hotel.
Prices Starting at $159
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Looking to Save on Tickets?
Save on Tickets
Explore all that San Diego has to offer & save up to 55% on attractions
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Stay Nearby

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Near Petco Park
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
from $189 / night
View Hotel
Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown
Bayfront
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown
from $152 / night
View Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown
Near Cruise Port
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown
from $176 / night
View Hotel
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown
Near Cruise Port
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown
from $152 / night
View Hotel
Show more San Diego Hotels >>
Tours & Adventures
Champagne Brunch Cruise
Champagne Brunch Cruise
$114 per person
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Gaslamp Brothels, Bites & Booze Tour
Gaslamp Brothels, Bites & Booze Tour
$75 per person
Buy Now
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