by Jessica Rosgaard, CNN.com
** Thursday May 6, 2011 **
New Orleans (CNN) — The population of New Orleans isn’t big enough that local bands can play to a new crowd every week, so when New Orleans musicians want to make money and new fans, they usually hit the road.
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is an exception to that rule, with most local bands staying at home to take advantage of a crowd that — this time — comes to them.
For seven days over two weekends, Jazz Fest attracts more than 300,000 music fans to New Orleans. Spread out over a dozen stages, the fest hosts over 450 musical acts from New Orleans and around the world.
Such a large festival opens bands to a big audience, but it also means musicians have tough competition for fest-goers’ time
“At Jazz Fest, there are multiple bands playing at the same time,” said Aaron Wilkinson of Honey Island Swamp Band. “You can’t count on everyone seeing you at your Jazz Fest set, so…