This event is the nation’s premiere showcase for African American musical talent. The Essence Music Festival, held inside the beautiful Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center, will take place this year the weekend of July 4-7. There is a not-to-be-missed musical lineup as well as distinguished speakers discussing empowerment and the African American experience. No matter your race, this event is sure to please pop music, soul, hip hop and jazz fans.
The publishers of Essence magazine are the sponsors the festival, which, since 1994, has brought tens of thousands of visitors to New Orleans. The sponsors book a dazzling array of musical superstars, renowned speakers and public personalities.
U.S. Congressman John Lewis circa 1964.
This year is no exception. Musical headliners include Beyonce, Jill Scott, LL Cool J and the “Cupid Shuffle” man himself, Cupid. Speakers include Civil Rights pioneer and U.S. Congressman John Lewis, bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant, Hip Hop mogul Master P and TV show host Steve Harvey.
Additional performers for the 2013 EssenceFest include:
- Anthony David
- Big Daddy Kane
- Keyshia Cole
- Bridget Kelly
- Leela James
- Charlie Wilson
- Faith Evans
- Jody Watley
- Kourtney Heart
New Orleans’ own Mia Borders. Photo by Zack Smith.
- Rachelle Farrell
- New Edition
- Trey Songz
- Mint Condition
- Janelle Monae
- Mia Borders
- Les Nubians
EssenceFest Seminars & Speakers
Inspirational and business-related seminars, aimed at empowering African American men and women, are the other key ingredient in EssenceFest. Inmportant African American business and spiritual community leaders present at these seminars. Among this year’s speakers are:
- Denise Warren: fitness guru
- Rev. Al Sharpton: political activist
- Dr. Michael Lomax: President/CEO, United Negro College Fund
- Marc Morial: President, National Urban League and former New Orleans mayor
- Eleanor Holmes Norton: Congresswoman, District of Columbia
- Myrlie Evers-Williams: Civil Rights leader, widow of Medgar Evers
- Karen Carter Peterson: La. State Senator
- Robin D. Stone: journalist and renowned nutritionist
- Dr. Denese O. Shervington: President/CEO, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a community-based public health institute in New Orleans
- Dr. Steve Perry: Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC, Essence magazine columnist, bestselling author
New Orleans Bed and Breakfast Lodging
Enjoy one of America’s most historical cities – specifically, New Orleans has a unique and multilayered African American (and French, and Spanish) heritage. Many of our bed and breakfasts are historical properties located in fascinating neighborhoods. Join us this summer in NOLA!