This weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the essence festival in New Orleans. This entire weekend was absolutely AMAZING from day one through three. The Essence festival is definitely something everyone should experience!
Essence Magazine presented their 23rd annual Essence Fest on June 30th– July 2nd with more than 470,000 attendees. For 47 years Essence Magazine focus has been to empower and uplift black women. Since 1994 the festival has been the official party with a purpose, and this year they continued the legacy with three days of music, empowerment, community and entertainment. Attendees were able to experience free enriching motivational seminars, beauty & style demonstrations, sizzling Southern cuisine, stargazing and fun freebies each day.
Essence was filled with empowering seminars with words of wisdom from Phaedra Parks of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Ava Duvernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Yara Shahidi, Iyanla Vanzant and many more. The Essence empowerment experience was my favorite part of the Essence fest. Being in the same room with such powerful women and hearing their stories was truly an honor.
Phaedra Parks said it best in her segment. “Black women are mosaic and we need to be represented at all times, we need to show that not only are we multi faceted but that we are very diverse in nature and so I have wanted to show that black women are intelligent, black women are innovative and black women do most things better than anybody else not because we’ve always wanted to but because we had to.”
The atmosphere of Essence was inspirational in itself, being around influential black men and women was definitely like the best family reunion you ever had, with all the relatives you didn’t know you had. It was such a homey atmosphere, as if I was surrounded by my own family members, the aroma of the room smelled like good ole home cooking, and natural hair care products.
The best thing about Essence is that everything was FREE from the seminars, beauty expos, cooking demonstrations, and even the super lounge concerts with artist like Xscape, June’s Diary, Michel’le and more!
The entire weekend was filled with an enormous amount of events and it was literally impossible to go to everything.
The festival ended in Sunday worship filled with musical guests such as Anita Wilson, Kim Burrell, Jekalyn Carr, India Arie, Cece Winans and more. The afternoon ended by honoring Dr. Cissy Houston and festival ended with concerts on the main stage by Chance the Rapper, Solange and a special performance by group Xscape.
New Orleans was the perfect city to host the Essence Festival, from the cuisine, music and liveliness of Bourbon Street, New Orleans and Essence Festival are definitely something that should be added to your bucket list!
I will definitely be returning to the Essence Fest Next Year!
“When you go to New Orleans, you’re not just going to a city you’re going to an entire culture.”