More than half a million attend the 25th anniversary of Essence Festival in New Orleans

Entertainment News

ESSENCE Festival celebrated 25 years over the weekend in New Orleans. More than half a million turned up to celebrate the historic event. This year the festival’s name was officially changed to the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

Some of the highlights of the weekend include, Former First Lady Michelle Obama made a first-time headline appearance at the sold-out Superdome on Saturday, July 7, 2019. She spoke to CBS This Morning’s Gayle King about her best-selling book, “Becoming.”

Throughout the weekend, seven 2020 Presidential candidates made appearances at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to directly engage the audience and share plans and policies to address some of their most pressing issues.

The first ever Global Black Economic Forum brought attendees together with CEO’s from Walmart, JP Morgan Chase, Square, and more.

This year’s festival redefined itself as the largest and most influential destination at the epicenter of Black culture, with the debut of 10 new Festival experiences, activation at more than 40 venues across New Orleans, and engagement with more than 300 small businesses and local vendors.

Over 100 performing artists appeared across the Mercedes Benz Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Names include Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., Patti Labelle, and more.

More than 300 influencers, leaders, creators and celebrities participated in the Festival’s daytime activities. Names include Rev. Al Sharpton, Ava Duvernay, Yara Shahidi, Tyler Perry, and so much more.

For a full recap of all the exciting moments from the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival, visit

See a gallery of some of your favorite celebrities below:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local

Trending Stories