Photo Credit: Cy Davison
Essence Festival or Essence Fest is a grand musical celebration that has taken place over the last 21 years filling each guest’s life with purpose and memorable moments in the “Crescent City” also known as New Orleans, Louisiana. Created by Essence Magazine, Essence Festival is the largest festival in the United States dedicated to African American culture and music bringing over 500,000 people to the Convention Center and Super Dome to take part in discussion panels, meet and greets as well as concerts.
This year’s phenomenal festivities are held July 2nd- July 5th with scheduled appearances by Al Sharpton, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Soledad O’Brien and Steve Harvey. Heavy hitting performers Common, Kendrick Lamar, Kevin Hart, Mary J. Blige, Dallas’ own Erykah Badu, Missy Elliot, Usher, Wale, Teedra Moses, Esperanza (Emily) Spalding and many many more take to the stage during the four day fete.
Now, if you have been attending Essence Fest a number of years you know what all the hype is about. If this if your first year, no worries. Let’s talk 5 memorable moments of Essence Festival over the 20 years (boy was it hard to narrow it down).
1995- First Essence Festival with performances by Queen Latifah
2000- Luther Vandross hits the stage in all white and over 100 pounds lighter
2007- Beyonce performs for the first time
2013- MSNBC broadcasts live with correspondents Al Sharpton and Soledad O’Brien
2014- Prince takes to the stage to a sold out crowd
Now in its 21st year I'm sure there will be more noteworthy memories for me to note down in the books! Why don't you create your own and join in! Find out more about Essence Festival here