ESSENCE Festival of Culture returned to its full, in-person glory on-the-ground in New Orleans, and with it came hundreds of thousands of revelers from all over the world converging to express and experience Black Joy en masse.
As always, big names in entertainment showed up and showed out for the duration of the weekend, turning up across the grounds and experiences dressed to the nines and ready to push the culture forward.
In between participating in important cultural convos during the daytime experience and rocking the festival stages at night, stars joined in on the fun at parties, brunches, backstage and in the concert audience.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 01: (L-R) Marsai Martin and Janet Jackson attend “Be Bold” Dinner Series honoring Janet Jackson presented by Coca-Cola at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans on July 01, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for CMPR Inc.)
Take a peek at who was on the scene for ESSENCE Festival of Culture’s big 2022 return.
Janet Jackson, Caroline Wanga
The musical legend and the CEO of ESSENCE linked up before Janet’s big appearance on the ESSENCE Festival stage.
Lori Harvey, Jason Lee, Tiffany Haddish, and Angela Simmons
The stars caught up with one another while waiting for Nicki Minaj to hit the stage on Friday night.
Marsai Martin, D-Nice
The actress/producer and America’s DJ kept it gangster while attending the “Be Bold” Dinner Series honoring Janet Jackson presented by Coca-Cola at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans
Kofi Siriboe, Michael Ealy
The actors were serving eye candy while on their way backstage at ESSENCE Festival of Culture.
Loni Love, Ashanti, Tisha Campbell
The ladies struck a pose backstage on night three of ESSENCE Festival’s concert series.
Ryan Destiny, Chlöe, Justine Skye
The three besties linked up for “If Not For My Girls” during day one of ESSENCE Festival of Culture
Marsai Martin, Janet Jackson
The youngest movie producer was all smiles with Janet herself at the “Be Bold” Dinner Series honoring the music legend, presented by Coca-Cola at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans.
The actress and host paused for the camera while awaiting an appearance from the Isely Brothers on Sunday night.
The comedienne was caught on the camera sitting pretty at the ESSENCE Brunch on Festival day 3.
Brandee Evans, J. Alphonse Nicholson
The P-Valley actors paused for a photo during the ESSENCE Brunch on July 1.
Kenny Burns, D-Nice
The master of ceremonies and the master DJ took a brief break from rocking the crowd on night three of the ESSENCE Festival concerts.
‘Mercedes’ took a moment to retouch her flawless look while seated at the ESSENCE Brunch.
Coco Jones, Justine Skye, Lori Harvey
Night one saw these ladies linking up in the pit in anticipation of night one of ESSENCE’s island and hip hop vibes.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, Angelica Ross
The actresses were spotted at Janet’s “Be Bold” Dinner at the Four Seasons.
Issa Rae, Angela Yee
The two moguls struck a pose for the camera after their chat at ESSENCE Beauty Carnival
Lucky Daye, Issa Rae
The ESSENCE cover stars were seen partying at the ACE Hotel for Issa’s newest show, Rap Sh!t.
Mack Wilds, LeToya Luckett
Night 2 of the ESSENCE Festival Concert had everyone smiling ear to ear.
The songbird and actor was spotted chatting on the dancefloor at HBO’s Rap Sh!t celebration.
Sidra Smith, Columbus Short
The actors were all smiles after the premiere of Short’s film Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story.
Rubi Rose, Gail Bean, Samia P, Baby Tate
The ladies discussed the power of the “P” and sex-positivity at ESSENCE Beauty Carnival.