What Is ESSENCE Festival Durban?


A brief overview of everything that takes place during our international edition of ESSENCE Fest in South Africa from day to night.

Rachaell Davis Aug, 29, 2017

Still wondering exactly what goes down at ESSENCE Festival – Durban? Well, wonder no more!

In short, ESSENCE Festival Durban is jam-packed interactive weekend of experiences that celebrate South African culture through entertainment, stimulating conversation, food, art, fashion and much more. The weekend also places a specific focus on serving as a safe space for Black women to kick back and flourish.

Scroll through for a look at exactly what takes place when we bring ESSENCE Fest to South Africa and the head over to our official website HERE for more information on how you can join us in Durban. See you there!

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Hear from some of South Africa's most notable business executives and entrepreneurs as they join us to share advice on taking your career to the next level and open up about their roads to success. This year's speakers include Phuti Mahanyele, Dr. Judy Dlamini, Johanna Mukoki and many more.

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What's a festival without a little shopping? Get access to dozens of beauty, fashion and art vendors all in once space at the ESSENCE Fest Durban marketplace.


The fashion in Durban is truly second to none and our Beauty & Style stage will bring you live demonstrations, informative conversations and plenty of tips from beauty and fashion experts. Plus, you'll have the chance to strut your stuff during our infamous Street Style fashion show that closes out the stage each day.

4 of 10 Greg Noire

This year's All-Star Concert features a lineup that's sure to have you singing and dancing all night long. With performances from headliner Jill Scott, as well as local favorites like Babes Wodumo, Khuzani, Nasty C and Mi Casa, your Saturday night will definitely be lit.

5 of 10 GO! / Sam Reinders

Whether you're coming to sample some of the delicious South African dishes or learn how to make them yourself, your taste buds will be sure to leave our ESSENCE Eats stage fully satisfied.

6 of 10 Cooper Neill

Bishop TD Jakes and the Joyous celebration choir will lead an unforgettable evening of music and inspiration as they close out the weekend with a bang.

7 of 10 Natasha Tendai

Grab your yoga mat and get read to hit the beach for an invigorating group workout to start your day off energized!

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Paras Griffin

Get a front row seat as Revered Al Sharpton, Lindiwe Hani and many more of today's most powerful and influential voices host conversations that are sure to leave you fulfilled and encouraged.

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Meet the authors behind some of Durban's most gripping novels and marvel at the masterpieces of the city's most talented visual artists at the ARTiculate Art & Book Fair. You can enjoy the art and literature on display and also choose from plenty of pieces available for purchase.

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Stop by the Tech Zone to get a close up look at the latest in technology, from gadgets to accessories and beyond.