It's the first day of the 7-day extravaganza we call Jazz Fest.

Gates opened just before 11 a.m. Friday and more than half a million people are expected to enjoy the sounds and sights at the Fair Grounds.

Big names like Bon Jovi, Kid Rock, Jimmy Buffet, Wyclef Jean are scheduled to perform over the next week.

Some essentials you'll want to take with you:
* A chair
* Blanket
* Sunscreen
* Hat
* Beer koozie
* Comfortable shoes* A hearty appetite.

You may also want to make a flag so that friends can find you, but the rules state: no metal poles and you can't plant them into the ground.