This year, ESSENCE celebrates 20 incredible years of music, culture, community, empowerment and inspiration through their iconic annual Essence Festival. There’s always been four days each summer that no one can duplicate. There’s nothing like the Essence Festival!
Anyone who attends the festival will testify that this experience is nothing short of thrilling, sensational, and wondrous. If the headlining line-up of Grammy-award winners who are performing isn’t enough to convince you that your presence is needed, here’s five more reasons why you should attend the Essence Festival this year.
Networking & Culture. I had the pleasure of attending the festival last year and beyond being simply delighted to be in such beautiful city, I met so many powerful young men and women. From all the locals who take pride in giving us the best NOLA experience possible, to that girl I met from London rocking the flyest maxi dress ever and was totally ready for my street style photo series–there’s plenty to see and feel!
Delicious grub. I am certain that I gained at least 12 pounds that weekend. Everything is dipped in batter and fried to perfection (even the oreo cookies), and it’s nearly impossible to pass up those scrumptious beignets. Jesus made them with love and I would argue that they are sprinkled with magic fairy dust! I suggest that you make that the first place you stop once you land in New Orleans.
Inspiration. This is probably the best part of the weekend and the one part that you must witness for yourself. Once you enter the conference, there’s all kinds of “girl, get ya life” moments that will occur. This year you can take your pick from Alicia Keys, to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, to the incomparable T.D. Jakes. How’s that for a mega-church service?!
Throwbacks. When will you ever be able to see 112, Amel Larrieux, Doug E Fresh, Eve, Jagged Edge, Naughty by Nature, Stephanie Mills, and Tevin Campbell perform all in one weekend…under the same roof. And just think, I left out a few names!
Legendary Icons. One word. PRINCE! Ok, three words. Prince. Is. Performing! I think I have waited my entire life to be able to afford a Prince ticket and the time has finally come. Can you beauties imagine the kind fun that will be had on Friday night? Prepare to have a concert-induced case of laryngitis.
think know I’ve given you more than enough reasons to attend this year. Be sure to visit the Essence Festival site for all things fabulous for the weekend! Plus follow @HelloBeautiful on Twitter and @HelloBeautifulOfficial on Instagram for exclusive updates from the scene!
Check out this year’s amazing line up of performers in the gallery below!
1. See Who's Performing At The 2014 Essence Music Fest1 of 53
2. Prince2 of 53
3. EPIC!! Prince Billboard Awards 2013 Performance LIVE (BBMAS 2013)3 of 53
4. Eve4 of 53
5. Eve - "Gotta Man" Live (1999)5 of 53
6. Elle Varner6 of 53
7. FEETV: Elle Varner- 'Sound Proof Room' Live7 of 53
8. 1128 of 53
9. 112 - Cupid (Artist Spotlight on Planet Groove)9 of 53
10. Erykah Badu10 of 53
11. Erykah Badu "On & On" + "...& On" Live at Red Bull Music Academy Madrid11 of 53
12. Jill Scott12 of 53
13. Jill Scott - He Loves Me Live - 200113 of 53
14. Mary J. Blige14 of 53
15. Mary J. Blige "No More Drama"15 of 53
16. Stephanie Mills16 of 53
17. Stephanie Mills "I Feel Good All Over/Feel The Fire"17 of 53
18. The Original Pinettes Brass Band18 of 53
19. The Original Pinettes Brass Band 3-23-201219 of 53
20. Sevyn Streeter20 of 53
21. Sevyn Streeter "It Won't Stop"21 of 53
22. Sebastian Mikael22 of 53
23. Sebastian Mikael "We Are One"23 of 53
24. Robert Glasper24 of 53
25. Robert Glasper Experiment - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Live on KEXP)25 of 53
26. Raheem DeVaughn26 of 53
27. Raheem DeVaughn Live Performance of "Guess Who Loves You More" & "Until"27 of 53
28. PJ Morton28 of 53
29. PJ Morton - Love You More (Live)29 of 53
30. Naughty By Nature30 of 53
31. Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hooray (live 1993) Part II31 of 53
32. Marsha Ambrosious32 of 53
33. Marsha Ambrosious "Butterflies" Acoustic33 of 53
34. Liv Warfield34 of 53
35. Liv Warfield Live Performance, "Waiting," 10.10.0835 of 53
36. Leela James36 of 53
37. Leela James My Joy Live37 of 53
38. Kourtney Heart38 of 53
39. Kourtney Heart Live at Essence Festival 201339 of 53
40. King40 of 53
41. KING Performs "Hey"41 of 53
42. Doug E. Fresh42 of 53
43. Doug E Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew 1989 at the Apollo43 of 53
44. Big Sam's Funky Nation44 of 53
45. Big Sam's Funky Nation • Big Ole Booty45 of 53
46. Amel Larrieux46 of 53
47. Amel Larrieux - Tell Me47 of 53
48. Charlie Wilson48 of 53
49. Charlie Wilson Performs "Outstanding"49 of 53
50. Ledisi50 of 53
51. Ledisi - In The Morning - Live Concert - 2013 [AMAZING]51 of 53
52. Lionel Richie52 of 53
53. Lionel Richie - All Night Long Live 1984 Can't Slown Down Tour53 of 53