ESSENCE Editors Reveal Their Favorite Festival Artists
Gus Bennett

Single night tickets for the ESSENCE Festival are now available and the lineup for each night has been announced. The time is now to start deciding on the list of performances you have to check out that weekend. For instance, do you want to see Maxwell and Les Nubians on July 5, New Edition and Faith Evans on July 6, and Beyoncé and Luke James on July 7? There are so many choices.

For inspiration, editors from ESSENCE magazine and shared the artists they just can’t wait to see perform at the Festival this year in New Orleans.

Cori Murray, Entertainment Director, ESSENCE
“I’m starting off Friday with Emeli Sandé, who—shame on me—I haven’t seen live yet but I’m a huge fan. I’m torn between hearing Jill Scott or Anthony David—both are amazing live—before Maxwell’s show. Saturday night, I’ll be seeing Solange, Bridget Kelly, Jody Watley and New Edition. On Sunday, I’m checking out Alice Smith because I live for her cover of “Fool for You,” but I’m definitely in my seat for both Janelle Monáe and Beyoncé’s performances.”

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Yolanda Sangweni, Entertainment Editor,
“I can’t wait to see Jill Scott on Friday, Uncle Charlie on Saturday and of course Beyonc
é on Sunday. And let’s not forget about the Superlounge acts like Rachelle Ferrell (eek!) and Alice Smith. The best in the music business always come to the Festival.”

Akkida McDowell, Deputy Research Editor, ESSENCE
“With such amazing talent being showcased each night, I’m torn between watching beloved favorites and exciting newcomers. Friday is a definite toss-up between Maxwell and Emeli Sandé. Although I’m super jazzed at the thought of seeing Jody Watley and Solange strut their musical stuff, Saturday night will belong to the men of New Edition. And yes, I adore Janelle Monáe, Daley and Mint Condition. But I absolutely must see vocal master Rachelle Ferrell bring it home/tear the roof off the Superdome on Sunday.”

Derrick Bryson Taylor, Associate Editor,
“I’m so excited that Jill Scott is coming back to the Festival! She never disappoints and gets the crowd jammin’! I also can’t think of a better person to close out the Festival than Beyoncé. Not only am I excited to see her sing her heart out, but I’m even more excited to see what surprises she brings to the show. It’s always epic.”

Now that you know the artists some of our ESSENCE staffers are planning to see at the ESSENCE Festival, we want to hear from you. Connect with us on Twitter via @EssenceFest and on Facebook with the names of the artists you have to see perform during the Festival. Let the planning begin!