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Essence Music Festival

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

It’s the glorious time of year again: Essence Music Festival! This weekend celebration of music, fashion, culture and the legacy Essence boasts. Everyone and their mommas have booked hot tickets (literally) to New Orleans to be a part of this monumental weekend (July 3-6).

With performers like Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar headlining the event, it’s easy to get excited! There’s also  Erykah Badu, India.ArieEsperanza Spalding, Teedra Moses, Bilal, Goapele, Lianne La Havas, Elle Varner and hip-hop icons Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, and Kool Moe Dee performing! Not to mention our fave funny guy, Kevin Hart!

But there’s more to the festival than the music. New Orleans boasts a rich culture rooted in Creole, voodoo, deep-fried, oystery, Po’ Boy goodness and if you’re venturing down south, you definitely have to conquer it. But how?

Well, you need to know where to eat, shop, how to dress and even what you should put on iTunes/Tidal/Spotify playlists. We’ve got you covered on all accounts. You’re welcome!

WHERE TO EAT:

Port Of Call: The best place to get a burger

Praline Connection: For down-home Creole styled soul food

Trolley Stop: For banana split pancakes that will make you cry

Mother: The only place we’d wait in a line for 

Lil Dizzy’s: For fried chicken that tastes historical

Cafe Du Monde: Beignets that will make you slap mom

Herb Saints: For French delights with an Italian twist

Peche: For an incomparable oysters

Sobou: Because pork cracklin’ is on the menu

WHERE TO GO DURING THE DAY:

Always check out the Convention Center on 900 Convention Center Blvd. That is the hub of Essence Festival and that’s where all the booths and panels are. Every brand imaginable is in the venue, alongside your favorite celebrities are at arm’s reach. There’s giveaways, prizes, games and all kinds of excitement. It’s definitely worth it to stop by during the day.

Essence hosts an Empowerment series each day that is always inspirational. This year, Rev. Al Sharpton will be speaking, with a heavy focus on #BlackLivesMatters on Sunday. Be sure to catch the Empowerment Panels!

WHERE TO GO AT NIGHT:

The shows, duh! But after that, walk down (yes, everyone will be walking, so wear comfy shoes) to the strip, aka Bourbon Street. You’ll be able to catch some delectable late night eats and wrap your hands around some Hurricanes–the drink, not the weather. The entire neighborhood is a party, so there’s not one place in particular that stands out. You can bar-hop with us!

WHAT TO WEAR:

FAB FINDS: What To Wear To Essence Music Festival

WHAT TO LISTEN TO:

The Playlist That Will Transport You To Essence Music Festival

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