For the first time in the Festival’s 26-year history, the much-anticipated celebration –which annually draws more than 500,000 attendees and contributes almost $300 million in economic impact over July 4thweekend in New Orleans–will be produced as a fully virtual experience!
Missed the first-ever virtual ESSENCE Festival of Culture? Click HERE to relive it all over at ESSENCE STUDIOS!
Expanding to not just one but TWO weekends, we invite you to join us as we entertain, empower, inspire, educate and mobilize our communities like never before.
Taking place June 25-28 and July 2-5 (Thursdays-Sundays) and streaming on ESSENCE Studios, the multi-day experience will extend to a global audience of viewers and feature virtual performances, summits, panels and more including leading musical artists, influencers and experts from around the world.
ESSENCE’s #BlackVotesMatter365 voting hub will also be a core element of the virtual Festival and include quick access to helpful resources for Black women and communities to amplify their voices in local and national elections through voting. The Festival will also include a benefit initiative to raise funds to support the critical needs and sustainability of Black and Brown entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses, and organizations focused on racial equity across the U.S.
“Due to COVID-19, this was certainly not the year we planned for the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, but challenging times call for innovative measures,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder & chair, Essence Ventures (parent company of ESSENCE). “As we began to see the disproportionate impact ofCOVID-19 on our community, it became more important to us than ever to still create a Festival experience thatdelivered the community, love, laughter, fun and empowermentthat the Festival is known for—and to leave our audience feeling inspired and uplifted,especially during these times. “For 50 years, it has been ESSENCE’s mission to provide content that our community needs–when they need it, and we are thrilled that ESSENCEStudios has been the perfect platform todeliver our offline experiences, such as Festival, for thefirst time evervirtually. We are also appreciative of ourpartners for their support and vision as we continue to navigate this time together and provide the quality programming, stellar lineup of musical talent, leading experts and thought leaders, and epicenter of global Black culture that only ESSENCE can.”
Hosted by Loni Love, the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture will feature a global ensemble of performers, including: Amanda Black, Andra Day, Bell Biv Devoe (“BBD”), Bruno Mars, Burna Boy, Common, D-Nice, Damian Marley, Diamond Platnumz, Doug E. Fresh, Elephant Man, Estelle, India.Arie, John Legend, Ledisi, NAS, Patti LaBelle, Raphael Saadiq, Rapsody, Sauti Sol, Shaggy, Swizz Beatz and more, hosted by Loni Love. Leading a special tribute to the city of New Orleans will be Mayor LaToya Cantrell, PJ Morton, Big Freedia, Irma Thomas, Tank and The Bangas and Big 6 Brass Band.
On Sundays, our Get Lifted celebration will include amazing performances from Anita Wilson, Bri Babineaux, Erica Campbell, Fred Hammond, Greater Sound of Greater St. Stephen FGBC, Jonathan McReynolds, Kierra Sheard, Kirk Franklin, Koryn Hawthorne, Marvin Sapp, Tamela Mann, The Clark Sisters, The Walls Group, Tye Tribbett,and more, along with Sunday sermons from Bishop Paul S. Morton and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Other culture-leaders and influencers raising their voices to speak include: Stephen Curry, Ayesha Curry, Rev. Al Sharpton, Naomi Campbell, Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert, Don Lemon, Tamika Mallory, Kirk Franklin, Tammy Franklin, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Lori Harvey, Ryan Destiny, Lexi Underwood, Lovie Simone, Tamika Mallory, Lori Harvey, Egypt Sherrod, Lisa Nichols, Marc Morial, Master P, Naomi Campbell, Shaun T., Tabitha Brown and many more!
The 2020 ESSENCE Festival is presented by Coca-Cola. Major sponsors include Ford, McDonald’s, Walmart, My Black is Beautiful, P&G.
For more information, visit our official virtual 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture website HERE.