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Party With a Purpose — All Things ESSENCE Festival of Culture™️

Trade in your headphones for a live music festival this summer in New Orleans! But this isn’t just any festival, it’s the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™️.

What is ESSENCE Fest? We’re glad you asked — here’s your guide. 

 

What is ESSENCE Fest?

ESSENCE Festival of Culture™️ is the largest festival in the country, drawing in half a million people to New Orleans every year. But it’s more than an entertainment event; there’s real cultural significance behind it.

Over July 4, 1995, ESSENCE magazine put on a three-day event to celebrate African American music, culture, and feminism. The magazine hosted some of the most popular Black artists (including Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, and Lionel Richie) in the New Orleans Superdome.

Though intended to be a one-off, ESSENCE Fest’s success turned it into an annual event with its tagline, “Party with a Purpose.”

This year’s events will be hosted from June 30 to July 3, 2022.

The 2022 Lineup

The lineup for this year’s festival includes Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj, and Janet Jackson.

In addition to the overarching event, there are also smaller sub-experiences festival-goers can sign up for like:

  • ESSENCE Beauty Carnival™️ – hear from beauty influencers, experts, and celebrities like Tia Mowry. 
  • ESSENCE Eats™️: Food & Wine Festival – this is a first-time event celebrating the rich flavors of Creole cuisine with food trucks and other vendors.
  • ESSENCE Film Festival™️ – immerse yourself in film and television, meet Oscar and Emmy-winning creatives, and witness panel discussions about how to achieve success in the industry.
  • ESSENCE After Dark™️ – the party doesn’t have to stop! Experience electrifying music and comedy performances after the main crowd goes home.

… and many more. You can find the full list of events here

How Should I Prepare?

Something to note is that all participants for this year must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter. 

Here are some other tips to consider before coming:

  • General admission is FREE and includes ESSENCE Beauty Carnival, ESSENCE Marketplace, and Essence Eats: Food & Wine Festival, among others. 
  • For other experiences, such as the concert and comedy events, attendees must register and pay.
  • If you want to see the paid experiences, but don’t want to come for the entire weekend, single-night tickets are available.
  • Parking is available at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Caesars Superdome, but is first-come, first-served and may be subject to fees
  • All ages are welcome, but certain events are 18+
  • No outside food or drinks are allowed
  • There is a clear bag policy


If you’re coming to ESSENCE Fest 2022, we know you’ll have so much fun. You can register here

And if you need a place to stay, we’ve got you covered!