Music Box Village – New Orleans, Louisiana - Atlas Obscura
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New Orleans, Louisiana

Music Box Village

An otherworldly musical haven in The Big Easy. 

Located in New Orleans’s funky Bywater neighborhood, Music Box Village has captured the whimsical imagination of music lovers everywhere. Designed by the collective talents of over 80 artists and builders, the bohemian sculpture garden contains interactive “musical houses” that play creative harmonies to the delight of visitors.

The Music Box Village is known for surprises. Through its unusual architectural ingenuity, the forested venue becomes a hands-on exploration of sound play. Each treehouse and Creole cottage-inspired structure is actually a musical instrument. The venue also presents live concert performances, ranging from orchestral concerts and bee operas to international headliners like Wilco and Norah Jones. 

The project originally began as an experimental prototype of “musical architecture” in 2011 by the nonprofit arts organization New Orleans Airlift. By 2016, after much public success and patron support, the venue found its permanent two-acre home near the Mississippi River. The tree-filled property design was inspired by the “the everyday presence of music in New Orleans, and the city’s under-celebrated class of tinkerers, inventors, and avant-garde musicians,” according to their website.

But it’s not just musical magic that gets people swinging; the venue also hosts a series of public art workshops, including Tai Chi, costume sewing, metalwork, and welding. Visitors can sample local New Orleans cuisine, indulge in beverages at the full onsite bar, or attend a series of ongoing panels. 

Know Before You Go

The Music Box Village is open every weekend (with the exception of special shows and private events) and its 2019 season re-opens on September 14. Check the calendar on their website for updates. 

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