Although it began as a one-time concert event in 1995 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the magazine of the same name, the first Essence Music Festival concerts were a hit. The event will enter its own 25th year in 2020. Aside from a couple of notable exceptions, New Orleans is the official home of the festival, and the city’s vibrant history with regard to music makes it a great, atmospheric choice. Essence Festival is the largest concert event to celebrate African-American culture and musical contributions in the US.
The Core of Essence
This music festival is all about celebrating the unique sounds of African-American musical artists and their accomplishments throughout a range of genres. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of R&B, soul, gospel, funk, hip-hop, jazz or reggae. You’ll find all of these styles and more at Essence Fest. The venue hosts hundreds of thousands of patrons and gained such international prominence that it was held in South Africa in 2016. Simultaneous performances are common as well.