For well over two decades the ESSENCE Festival has established itself as a must-attend event that draws more than 450,000 attendees from across the globe to New Orleans, LA year after year. The multi-day entertainment, empowerment and cultural event has an economic impact of more than $200 million on the local economy and now ESSENCE is expanding the franchise internationally.
Thanks to a three-year partnership with eThekwini Municipality, ESSENCE Festival will not only take place in New Orleans over Fourth of July weekend (June 30- July 4) but also in its sister city of Durban, South Africa in 2016 and 2017.
ESSENCE Festival Durban will follow a similar format of the annual New Orleans event, presenting international performers and speakers to entertain and inspire, as well as a host of local artists and experts. The multi-day event will bring exciting and informative ideas to equip small businesses through empowerment seminars across various sectors, including career guidance workshops and other empowerment initiatives aimed at the youth. A number of women-owned businesses will also be selected to trade at the Durban edition of ESSENCE Festival, which will boost their profile and drive sales for the company.
“This partnership will have a host of benefits for residents starting with the Durban Business Fair (DBF) program, which strives to connect local businesses globally,” says eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo. “The Fair is taking place simultaneously with the ESSENCE Festival launch announcement.”
“We are delighted to partner with the vibrant city of Durban to launch the ESSENCE Festival globally in South Africa,” adds ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “Hosting our first international ESSENCE Festival in Durban purposefully extends our mission to convene the diaspora around shared aspirations.”
Specific dates and performers for ESSENCE Festival Durban will be announced in the coming weeks so be sure to visit Essence.com/Festival regularly for updates. In the meantime, tickets for Essence Festival New Orleans are available now.