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All About the Essence Festival of Culture


On every Fourth of July weekend, attendees are invited to participate in panel discussions, meet and greets and other fun activities as well as nonstop live music featuring the best in R&B/soul/funk/gospel/hip-hop.


Each year, the Essence Festival occurs during the Fourth of July weekend. Attendees of the Essence Festival fill the city for four days, creating their own unique experiences. A city-wide event, Essence Festival features a variety of events and activities. During the day, the festival is based at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, while the concerts take place at the Caesars Superdome in the evening.


There are a slew of other activities, businesses, and giveaways to be found in the Downtown Arts + Business District and the Central Business District. Look for special events, promotions, and recommendations throughout the city, as well.


Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence Magazine in 1995, the festival grew into an annual event, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Crescent City every year for two decades. In addition to promoting and celebrating health and wellness, spirituality, beauty and style, food, community and culture, entertainment, and business enterprise among African Americans, the Essence Festival of Culture is sometimes referred to as "a party with a purpose."

The Essence Festival's daytime events are free and open to the public. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center does not charge visitors to enter or participate in any of its events. There are also a number of sponsor lounges and events that are free and open to the public in downtown New Orleans.


Single-day tickets and weekend passes are available for concerts. All mainstage and super-lounge performances are included with the purchase of an Essence Fest ticket. Due to the fact that tickets frequently sell out, it is highly recommended that you buy them in advance.

The evening's main attractions are the shows on the mainstage. The Essence Festival's main stage has been graced by the likes of Prince, Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and others in the past. Legendary performers whose music transcends generations are featured in mainstage concerts, which are the most complete concert experiences.


The Superdome's Superlounge performances take place in a more casual and intimate setting. There are no reserved seats for these concerts, which are held in a "general admission" format. It's common for new and rising stars to perform at superlounges.


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