Although Covid cases are declining Essence Magazine opted to move forward with its 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. Incorporating virtual for the second year in light of the pandemic, this year’s event will live up to its theme of “Live Loud” by featuring exciting content across all of its stages centered around culture, equity and celebration.
As the nation continues to reopen, ESSENCE’s exciting and elevated hybrid experience will present a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of our community and omnipresence of our culture — and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart and more. The Festival will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com—Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4.
“The ESSENCE Festival of Culture, now the largest festival in the nation by per day attendance, is an unparalleled convening and celebration of global Black culture and continues to have even deeper impact on our communities via our expanded focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development,” said Latraviette Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “As a live experience, the ESSENCE Festival normally attracts more than 500,000 attendees annually during July 4th weekend in New Orleans — but last year, we made the necessary decision to shift our multi-day celebration to an innovative virtual format due to COVID-19. The ESSENCE Festival was the first of its kind and scale to be executed virtually during the pandemic, and our team worked tirelessly to deliver the content, programming and resources that our community desired. As a result, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture provided much-needed, only-at-ESSENCE content and experiences that inspired, entertained, informed and empowered—resulting in 45+ million full-stream views of 2020 Festival content to date. This year, we are thrilled to bring forth another exciting talent line-up, curated programming and a new hybrid experience that will directly touch the people of New Orleans and Louisiana while also further extending our reach, engagement and impact via enhanced digital, technology and streaming capabilities to connect more of our community in the U.S. and across the diaspora.”