This year, Essence Festival began on Thursday, July 4 – a whole day early with “Family Reunion Day.” Essence curated an entire day of free music, food and activities for all ages at New Orleans’ Woldenberg Riverfront Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Family Day Sound Stage saw performances from New Orleans’ own Brass-A-Holics, Water Seed and The Stooges Brass Band, as well as from national stars like Tweet, Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh. Meanwhile, the Essence Family Reunion Day Food Experience Stage hosted a cook-off and live demo co-hosted by Louisiana’s own Chef Carolyn Shelton and business partner, former NFL Saints player Mike McKenzie.
Then, Friday kicked-off the first official full day of Essence Fest. We checked out some of the exhibits in the Empowerment Zone in the Convention Center during the day. By night we were introduced some rising soul stars in some of the Superlounges such as Maya Azucena, Simphiwe Dana, Les Nubians and more.
Check out some of our “OffBeat live from Essence 2013″ snaps here, caught out and about while taking in the fest. Stay tuned for the official photo galleries next!
All photos by Jocelyne Ninneman.
Location: Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, Mercedez-Benz Superdome.
Read Brett Milano’s recap of Friday night’s Superdome performances here.
View the photo gallery below from OffBeat‘s Jocelyne Ninneman here.
All photos by Jocelyne Ninneman. For more photos from the New Orleans music scene visit OffBeat’s Flickr page.