Essence Fest Returns to New Orleans for Live Event in 2022

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Essence Communications, Inc., today (Dec. 15) announced the full return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to New Orleans from June 30 – July 3, 2022.   

Because of the pandemic, the annual Essence Festival was a virtual event in 2020 and 2021. But organizers are set to host a fully live gathering for the first time in two years, celebrating the culture and resilience of the Black community with the theme “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”  

The four-day event will also be a virtual festival, with organizers intending to capitalize on its strong digital performance – including a 65 performance increase in Festival content streams from 2020 (45 million) to 2021 (70+ million).

“The reimagining of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans as a phygital – fully physical and fully digital – experience will be epic,” said Caroline Wanga, CEO, Essence Communications, Inc. “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. 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.” 

The live experience will include almost one million square feet of space for empowerment programming (networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, nightly concerts at Caesars Superdome and other activations in venues across the city.  The Festival’s robust digital programming will include live streaming of select on-the-ground activities in New Orleans, as well as new and exclusive digital content and experiences created for the live and virtual audiences. 

“We are elated to announce the return of the ESSENCE Festival to New Orleans in the Summer of 2022,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “ESSENCE brings so much to our city and our economy, and I can’t wait to see what this year has to offer. The City of New Orleans and the ESSENCE Festival are inextricably linked through our remarkable history and our steadfast focus on and commitment to culture, community, and economic inclusion.  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.” 

Launched in 1995 as an event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has since evolved into the world’s largest celebration of Black women, culture and communities. Regularly convening more than 530,000 people annually over July 4th weekend in New Orleans, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is now also the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance. 

Additional details regarding the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture – including ticketing, schedules, talent line-up, COVID protocols (based on recommended guidance from Public Health Agencies and the City of New Orleans), and more – will be released in January 2022.  Visit www.essencefestival.com for the latest information. 

The last live Essence Festival was held in 2019. It attracted more than half million visitors for its 25th anniversary celebration and it featured a number of local artists. Click here to read our coverage from 2019.