Every year, Essence magazine hosts its annual music and culture fest, Essence Music Festival, in the Superdome the first weekend of July. The festival—this year hosted from Thursday, July 4th through Sunday, July 7th—celebrates the vibrant music, culture and business scenes of the African American community. Fest-goers dress to the nines as they enjoy day parties, after parties and speakers in addition to the festival itself.
The Essence Fest line-up includes some huge names in the pop, hip hop, soul and brass band scenes, including Beyoncé, LL Cool J, Brandy, Keyshia Cole, Biz Markie, Janelle Monáe and Trey Songz and local names like Mia Borders, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Brass-a-holics, Kourtney Heart and Stooges Brass Band. These artists will perform on six different stages and “superlounges” set up throughout the Superdome.
An important and inseparable part of the Essence Music Festival events includes free seminars in the Convention Center with well-known, prestigious, motivated and highly learned individuals in just about every industry. These events are all free, and the wisdom and empowerment you’ll receive just by listening is truly priceless. There are more than 70 speakers lined up to host these seminars, and they are not to be missed.
The original Essence Music Festival began in 1995 as a one-time extravaganza to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine. The festival’s resounding success in that first year made it clear that this would be no one-time event, and the annual fest has grown each year.
Thousands of Essence readers and music fans descend upon the Superdome each year, and as expected, the ratio of women to men is clearly in favor of the magazine’s key audience—African American women. Folks of all ages and backgrounds congregate for this festival, and it’s one that is a must-see for pop, hip hop, soul and brass band fans.