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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!

MUST READ: The Road To The 20th Annual Essence Fest Kicks Off With Performances By Chante Moore, Chrisette Michele & More! [VIDEO]

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.

I 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! 

2014 Essence Festival Line-Up [PHOTOS]
19 photos


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