Dionne Character Entertainment Columnist
Celebrating Black Excellence: A Bold Vision for the Future
Essence Fest began as a one-time event celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed at African American women. Almost three decades later it’s grown to be one the premiere festivals in America. Bringing in people from around the world, to experience Black Excellence.
Under the leadership of owner Richelieu Dennis and President and CEO Caroline Wanga, the brand is moving in many bold and new directions. Providing innovative programming but staying true to its core values of empowering Black women, and celebrating their beauty, excellence, and impact.
Essence and New Orleans is a partnership that will continue according to Wanga and the leadership team. For what is usually a slow tourist weekend, have become an event where Black businesses and consumers come together to support each other. This is important if the community is to create generational wealth. Something that the leadership team at Essence is focused on in its renewed vision.
Last year, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture saw 1.9 million live and virtual attendees, increased revenue, and brought in new and reinvested sponsors – marking the highest revenue and largest audience in its history.
The 2022 festival was also ESSENCE’s highest-grossing multi-day event to date. 2022 generating $48.6 million in federal, local, and state taxes, as well as 189 million in GDP. Last year’s festival was also the most fiscally beneficial for New Orleans, with an economic impact of $327 million.
The 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ created 3,605 Jobs and produced $120 million and labor income.
The ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ attracts 500,000 annual visitors to New Orleans year over year.
This Year Celebrates 50 Years of Hip-Hop and Much More….
Celebrating Black Women, Black-Owned Businesses and Black Culture, The Essence Music Festival of Culture, presented by Coca-Cola returns to New Orleans Thursday, June 29th, through Monday, July 3rd.
This year Essence Music Festival celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with a line-up of powerful female rappers: Missy Elliott, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Lauryn Hill, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of her debut solo album, and Megan Thee Stallion, one of the biggest pop artists with performances by Ice Cube, Big Boi, Ice-T, KRS-One, Eve, Remy Ma and New Orleans’ own Mia X and Juvenile.
Essence Festival Tickets + Admission
The Essence Festival daytime experience takes place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with daily, free admission from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with experiences intended to motivate and educate throughout the Convention Center, showcasing sponsored lounges, events, pop-ups, and more throughout downtown New Orleans.
Concert tickets can be purchased as single day tickets or weekend passes. The purchase of an Essence Fest ticket grants access to all mainstage and super-lounge performances for that evening.
The 2023 Festival Lineup includes:
• Missy Elliott
• Ms. Lauryn Hill
• Megan Thee Stallion
• Jermaine Dupri
• Coco Jones
• Kizz Daniel
• and more!
If you are looking for a soulful weekend to explore, health & wellness, spirituality, beauty & style, food, community & culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and much more within the African American community, The Essence Festival of Culture is where you can enjoy your 4th of July weekend, surrounded by some of the most powerful people visiting the Crescent City of New Orleans where good food, community, and culture meets music.