There's lots to do at Rajun Cajun! The festival is free admission and all proceeds benefit the 40,000 local children served by Porter-Leath each year. If you're looking to have the ultimate Rajun Cajun experience, check out some of our opportunities below. Keep in mind that with the exception of the contests, these areas must be booked in advance as they always sell out due to limited quantities.

2023 Rajun Cajun Schedule


 Swamp tent attendees
The most popular and exclusive experience at Rajun Cajun is the Monogram Foods Swamp VIP tent. From noon until 5:00 PM that afternoon, attendees enjoy an unlimited crawfish buffet including other Cajun cuisine, desserts, beer, and beverages while relaxing under the shade of the big tent. Tickets are $125 each or $225 per couple. This experience always sells out. To be included on the mailing list, visit our Contact us page and send us your mailing address. For groups of 10+, please call 901-577-2500 x 1119.


Gumbo Cookoff winners

It's all about that roux! The Rajun Cajun Cash Saver Gumbo Cook-Off features 24 local and regional teams that compete for the coveted skillet trophy and over $1,000 in cash prizes. Teams must create a truly authentic Louisiana gumbo that includes seafood cooked with various spices and vegetables and served similar to a soup/stew. With no two gumbos alike, our local celebrity judges are up the challenge to find the best dish! 


Crawfish Eating
crawfish eating contest

How fast can you eat a 3-pound bucket of crawfish? Find out in this crowd-favorite contest. The entry fee is a $30 donation to the Porter-Leath children. Sign up is limited to the first dozen contestants and starts at 11:30 AM. To sign up, visit the t-shirt sales tent on the day of the festival. 

Crawfish bobbing
crawfish bobbing

Contestants in this game try not to get in a "pinch" as they try to pull as many live crawfish out of a tub of water using only their mouths! Contestants must be 18 or older and must sign up in advance at the t-shirt sales tent then head to the Bayou Stage at 3:30 PM!

Crawfish racing

crawfish racing

Children love to compete in this game! Contestants and onlookers cheer and shout to help their live crawfish racers make across the finish line first. Walking backward of course! To participate, go to the Bayou Stage at 1:30 PM on the day of the festival.

The Music

Each year, Porter-Leath's Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is home to the best of local music, complete with top swamp soul all day long on the main stage. Set times are generally 11:30-12:30, 1:30-2:30, 3:30-4:30, and 5:30-6:30 for all stages.

Set times are subject to change. Lineup exceptions may apply due to weather, artist availability or other unexpected events. 

Orion Main Stage
Featuring: Hope Clayburn's Soul Scrimmage

“Is there no Hope- there is, and she will funk you up!” -Relix Magazine

Soul-Jazz-Funk saxophonist/flautist and vocalist Hope Clayburn is on a mission to move the people. Her unique funky, soulful style has allowed her to perform/record with an eclectic mix of artists around the world, including The Allman Brothers Band, Snarky Puppy and The Temptations. She has appeared on the iconic PBS music show Austin City Limits with Grammy nominated folk artist Valerie June and she is featured  on Valerie’s new EP of cover songs Under Cover.

Hope can be found in Memphis, TN recording and performing with a variety of bands and with her own funk/rock ensemble Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage. They will be releasing a new album/vinyl record titled Y’ALL SO LOUD this summer.

Southland Casino Hotel Riverside Stage
Featuring: FreeWorld

Bassist/vocalist Richard Cushing and drummer David Skypeck were playing with The Moonlight Syncopators every Wednesday night at Lafayette’s Corner on Beale Street in August of 1986. The band featured a horn section, but by November horn players Sal Crocker and Scott Thompson had left the band. One night, the band was surprised by the unexpected guest appearances of veteran jazz saxophonist Herman Green and Stax trumpeter William “Nokie” Taylor. That initial jam session led to a number of subsequent collaborations and in September of 1987, Cushing and trumpeter Willie Waldman approached Green about forming a new band. They were joined by guitarist Clint Goodwin (later Wagner), keyboardist/vocalist Ross Rice, and Jimmy Ellis on drums and vocals. Together with sound technicians Michael Kearney and Dave Aron from Sun Studio and Vince Pratt, who also occasionally played rhythm guitar, the band soon became a local favorite.

FreeWorld played its first gigs at The South End, a restaurant on the corner of Front and Calhoun, in October of 1987. Their initial set lists were made up of an eclectic mix of songs by other performers, but it was not long before the band members began writing original material. FreeWorld’s first CD was recorded and co-produced by Daniel Pfeiffer at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee from late 1991 through mid-1993. By that time, the core lineup had evolved to include Cushing, Green and Skypeck, guitarist/vocalist Chuck Sullivan and percussionist Leopoldo “Rico Rumba” Lopez. The self-titled CD was a local hit and provided the band with ample opportunities to perform both locally and regionally. FreeWorld gained broader exposure over the next few years touring incessantly throughout the Southeastern United States, as well as embarking on two European tours in 1993. The band then expanded to include trumpeter Steve Dolan and a second saxophonist, Art Edmaiston, but unfortunately, it also began to unravel as their frenzied touring pace wore on some of the members. Eventually Sullivan and Lopez left, and guitarist Brian Overstreet and keyboardist/vocalist Parker Card were enlisted to take their places.

In July 1996, the band released You Are Here, produced by well-known studio veteran Jim Gaines. Gaines began his recording career at Stax in Memphis and later worked with Santana, Tower of Power, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Huey Lewis & The News, Bruce Hornsby, and Journey. The new CD brought the band even greater critical acclaim and continued success which led to band members being presented numerous Premier Player Awards by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Perpetual personnel changes and frequent guest artist appearances have consistently characterized the band throughout the years. By 1997, Parker Card and Art Edmaiston had left the band, and trombonist Prentice Wulff-Woesten was added to the line-up. Over the years, guest artists have included Bono from U2, Levon Helm from The Band, Stax great Steve Cropper, The Memphis Horns, Phineas, Jr. and Calvin Newborn, James Cotton, Ace Cannon, guitar genius Shawn Lane, Artimus Pyle from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell of Phish, Eric Gales and his brother Little Jimmy King, violinist Peter Hyrka, Kenny Neal, Ivan Neville, and George Coleman among many others.

After a decade FreeWorld was as active as ever, averaging nearly three hundred live performances a year. Despite their busy touring schedule, they continued to write and record new music. Diversity, which featured guest appearances by numerous friends, was recorded in 1999 at the famed Easley-McCain recording studio and produced by Ross Rice. FreeWorld was then voted one of the city’s best bands in the 2000 Memphis Flyer’s “Best of Memphis” reader’s poll. In 2003 they released Live from Memphis, co-produced by FreeWorld and Kevin Houston. The band’s lineup at that time included Cushing, Green, Skypeck, Overstreet, Dolan and Josh Degges on alto saxophone, with occasional appearances by Wulff-Woesten, Nokie Taylor, and both Ross Rice and Paul Brown on keyboards. They followed that by releasing the CD single Save Our Soul in 2005, recorded at Willie Mitchell’s world famous Royal Recording Studio here in Memphis, with Hope Clayburn replacing Josh Degges on saxophone, and featuring special guest artists James Govan on lead vocals and Rick Steff on Hammond B3 organ. There have also been numerous side projects, as well as outside collaborations and the promotion of up and coming acts.

While continuing to be important recording artists and performers in their own right, FreeWorld members have also worked as movers and shakers behind the scenes helping their fellow Memphis musicians within the local music community. Band members, most notably Richard Cushing, have been active in local music organizations such as NARAS and the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission. Their efforts are a benefit to all musicians in our community and will certainly leave an indelible mark on the history of Memphis music.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Bayou Stage

Featuring: Dikki Du and The Zydeco Krewe

Dikki Du (Troy Carrier) was born in 1969 in Church Point, Louisiana and discovered his love for zydeco music at the tender age of nine. After school he would get together with his brother Chubby, sister Elaine and father Roy to play zydeco music. At the age of twelve, Troy moved to a little town called "Lawtell" where his father owned the Offshore Lounge for over fifteen years. Troy played the washboard for his father, Roy Carrier, on local gigs; he then joined forces with the great C.J. Chenier for two years. Troy's brother Chubby Carrier started a family band and offered Troy a job playing the drums. Troy toured with his brother from the late 80's until the 90's, when he returned home to pick up the accordion.

It has now been twelve years that Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe have been on the scene. Dikki Du has incorporated his musical heritage with unique experience to create one of the most innovative zydeco groups around. The krewe captures an audience with one of the best sets around. His original funky and hypnotic zydeco style announces that he has arrived, occupying a spot on par with the best. "Personally the triple row is the sound that I like the best," says Dikki Du. He takes songs from classic zydeco and turns the inside out with fresh and funky renditions driving it to the next level. The krewe’s innovations revitalize zydeco charging it for years to come. Dikki would love to thank all his friends and fans for all their support, most people don't, but Dikki Du.