The wait is over: the Essence Festival returns to the Convention Center and Superdome this Fourth of July weekend, bringing to the stage some of the most widely-acclaimed contemporary stars and veteran icons. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular festivals for music-lovers of all ages, locals and visitors alike.
Launched in 1995 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence Magazine, it’s grown into what is widely considered the largest celebration of African American culture in the nation.
In addition to drawing some of the hottest national acts, this “party with a purpose” hosts over 50 daytime seminars (the Reverend Al Sharpton and State Senator Karen Carter Peterson are among this year’s speakers) and a variety of craft vendors.
The 2015 music lineup is another heavy-hitter, especially since the March announcement that Usher and Missy Elliott had jumped aboard.
Crowd favorites are back again, including Mary J. Blige and Frankie Beverly, along with fellow headliners Common, India.Arie, Floetry, Erykah Badu, Kem, Trey Songz, Charlie Wilson, Lecrae, and Trombone Shorty.
And that’s only the beginning. With dozens of additional acts (including local stars like our cover artist Tank and the Bangas) spread throughout four “Superlounges,” there’s ample opportunity to find new favorites. Who knows? You might even discover the next big thing.