More Than Music: 15 Other Reasons ESSENCE Festival Is The Hottest Ticket Of The Summer


From the empowerment, to the food, to the fashion, to the starpower, ESSENCE Festival is truly an experience like no other for so many reasons.

Rachaell Davis Feb, 27, 2017

Every year, the ESSENCE Festival brings you a jam-packed weekend full of unforgettable experiences like no other and this year’s extravaganza is no exception.

ESSENCE Festival 2017 ticket packages are on sale now! For more info about tickets, accommodations and the latest news, visit our Festival page here.

While the highly-anticipated annual event has become known for it’s 20+ year history of star-studded, nightly concert line ups featuring some of the biggest names in music, there are also multiple other elements that will make your experience one you won’t soon forget. From our Beauty & Style Expo, to our Money, Power, Business & Entrepreneurship Conference, to the endless amount of surprise celebrity guests who drop in each year, there’s really nothing quite like it. Scroll through to check out 15 other reasons why you’ll definitely want to grab your tickets now and start planning your trip to New Orleans for the 2017 ESSENCE Festival!


1 of 15

Dozens of delicious vendors and our amazing ESSENCE Eats station will leave your tastebuds beyond satisfied and coming back for more.

2 of 15 David Willems

No one slays a runway quite like our Beauty & Style Expo models, who will be ready to show off the latest from our carefully selected pool of established and rising Black designers.

3 of 15 Scott Threlkeld

African-American art is major part of our history as a culture and ESSENCE Festival Marketplace will be your one stop shop for a diverse collection of breathtaking work from talented artists across the country.

4 of 15 David Willems

ESSENCE Festival takes pride in being a place where Black women of all ages and backgrounds can feel empowered, appreciated and celebrated just for simply being you.

5 of 15 Manfred Koh Photography/Styling: Anna Yakhnich

From hair products, to beauty products, to signature tote bags and more, you certainly won't leave ESSENCE Fest empty-handed.

6 of 15

Looking for the perfect girls trip? ESSENCE Festival will bring you closer to your circle of sisters in ways you never imagined and allow for opportunities to meet more inspiring women who share similar stories and interests.

7 of 15

So many of your favorite celebs are just as excited about ESSENCE Festival as you are, so don't be surprised to run into a few of them in the mix!

8 of 15 W New Orleans

Whether you're traveling from just outside of New Orleans or coming from across the country, you'll definitely want to indulge in one of the French Quarter's many exquisite hotel experiences. Visit for more info on booking the perfect hotel for your stay.

9 of 15

There's no telling what else is in store outside of our regular schedule of events. From surprise celebrity guests, to surprise giveaways, every year the surprises get better and better.

10 of 15 Michael Rowe

Summer. In. New Orleans. Need we say more?!

11 of 15 Johnny Nunez

From our Money, Power, Business & Entrepreneurship Conference, to our daily Essence Empowerment Experience lineup, you'll leave the Festival enlightened, inspired and ready to face whatever the world throws your way.

12 of 15 Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

If you've traveled to New Orleans before, the you'll agree that there's no other city quite like it. And if this is you first trip to ESSENCE Festival and NOLA, you're in for quite the treat.

13 of 15 Walik Goshorn

From hair products, to hair talk, to the plethora of hairstyles you'll see (you know we have to get creative in that summer NOLA heat!), ESSENCE Festival is your safe space for all things Black hair.

14 of 15 Scott Threlkeld

Every year, our goal is to make the ESSENCE Fest marketplace in the Convention Center a place where consumers can connect with a wide variety of Black-owned businesses and local New Orleans businesses, and this year is no exception.

15 of 15 David Willems

Whether you're heading to Essence Fest with your family, your friends or your bae, the memories you'll create on this trip will truly last a lifetime.