Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is as close as you can get to the real thing—because it is the real thing. Home to the folks who have been giving Mardi Gras its mojo since 1947, the 84,000-square-foot Mardi Gras World warehouse offers a unique event experience. Guests can tour the workshops where artists create the legendary Mardi Gras floats. In addition to the warehouse, which holds up to 3,500 guests, the adjacent Mardi Gras Plaza, tucked between Mardi Gras World and the Mississippi River, offers an additional 11,720 square feet of outdoor space on its wooden deck. Mardi Gras World also operates several other venues in the city, including the River City Ballroom (one of the largest ballrooms in town), the River City Plaza, and the historic Grand Oaks Mansion.
It's no surprise that one of the city's coolest event venues is located in the heart of the historic and uber-hip Warehouse District. Housed in a former coffee-exporting facility turned movie set (Oliver Stone's “JFK” was filmed there) turned rock club, Republic New Orleans' latest incarnation as a live music and event venue offers 7,500 square feet of space that can accommodate up to 800 guests. Comprising three separate but interconnected rooms—the Main Room, the Mezzanine, and the Artists Room—the space incorporates design elements from its colorful history, including art-deco murals, chandeliers, exposed beams, and a slate-topped bar. Rental rates are $550 per hour, which includes an on-site planner and logistics manager. Amenities include a stage, a projection screen, a state-of-the-art audiovisual system, and even an attachable runway.
As its name suggests, Generations Hall celebrates the legendary musical history of New Orleans. Originally built in 1820 as a sugar refinery, Generations Hall blends historical elegance with industrial chic, with exposed ductwork sharing space with the city's trademark filigree. The venue comprises three spacious rooms—the Metropolitan One, the Metropolitan Two, and the Big Room—which can be rented separately or together.