NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After a two-year absence brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Essence Festival is planning its return to New Orleans next summer.
“Given what we have collectively experienced over the last two years, the opportunity to convene and uplift in the spirit of culture, equity, celebration — and joy — is more of a privilege and honor than it has ever been,” said Caroline Wanga, chief executive officer of Essence Communications Inc.
The festival, launched in 1995 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine, has evolved into the world’s largest celebration of Black women, culture and communities, convening more than 530,000 people annually over July 4th weekend in New Orleans, the company said in a news release.
Scheduled for June 30 to July 3, the festival will include programming on networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, nightly concerts at the Superdome and other entertainment in venues across the city.
The festival plans to expand its digital programming next year, livestreaming “select on-the-ground activities” as well as creating new digital-only content and experiences, the company said.
“We look forward to our homecoming in the City of New Orleans and to strengthening our impact as a cornerstone of Black culture, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion — working always to serve Black women and communities deeply,” Wanga said.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city is excited about the event’s scheduled return.
“ESSENCE brings so much to our city and our economy, and I can’t wait to see what this year has to offer,” she said. “We look forward to continuing this partnership to create an even deeper legacy of impact and inclusion for our city and for all who will join us in July to make this experience the best yet.”
Details about talent, ticketing and schedules will be released in January.
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