Download the 2019 #ESSENCEFEST mobile app
for real-time updates across all Festival experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the 2019 ESSENCE Festival®?

Thursday, July 4th – Sunday, July 8th

Where is the ESSENCE Festival® located?

In 2019, you will get to enjoy more experiences across more venues than ever before. Evening concerts will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome not including the ESSENCE After Dark shows. A majority of daytime programming will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Please find a list of ESSENCE Festival® experiences and their respective venues below. More venues are coming soon!

701 N Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70116

The After Dark series will be hosted in multiple venues including:

  • THE ORPHEUM: 129 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112
  • REPUBLIC NOLA: 828 S Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130
  • HOWLIN’ WOLF: 907 S Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130

1500 Sugar Bowl Dr., New Orleans, LA 70112


900 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA 7013

545 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

900 Camp St., New Orleans, LA 70130

How do I register for the free events?

ESSENCE®Download the 2019 ESSENCE Festival mobile app. The app allows you to register for all the free expos and/or purchase a ticket to the paid events. While there is no QR code tied to the app, it’s built-in functionality will help you RSVP for limited capacity events & screenings and receive critical messaging on the events that matter most to you.

Are there restrictions on what I can bring into the Superdome?

NEW CLEAR BAG POLICY: Any bag, purse, or briefcase that is larger than
12” x 6” x 12” will not be allowed into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
All bags that enter must be CLEAR with the exception of medical bags, which may be subject to inspection, and small clutch bags. The maximum size for a clutch bag is 4.5” x 6.5”. Gallon size clear Ziploc bags are acceptable.

ESSENCE is offering several stylish options. View, purchase and pre-order our clear bags here: https://shop.essence.com/

For more information regarding the Clear Bag Policy, please visit http://www.mbsuperdome.com/plan-your-visit/clear-bag-policy. For additional restrictions, please find the list of prohibited items below the FAQs.

What kind of access do I get with my ESSENCE Festival® concert ticket?

You will gain entry into the Superdome where you will be free to view Mainstage and Superlounge performances. Your ticket guarantees you a designated seat to view Mainstage performances. Superlounge performances are first-come first-serve. Tickets are required for entry into the Superdome.

Do I have to purchase concert tickets for the entire weekend?

No, single night tickets are available for purchase to attend evening concerts at the Superdome. Weekend tickets for the evening concert series are no longer available as of April 2, 2019.

Are concert tickets refundable or exchangeable?

All purchased tickets are final sale and are neither eligible for refund nor exchange.

What is included in my Superdome VIP Ticket?

Your Superdome VIP ticket guarantees you the following:

  • Premier seating at the Superdome
  • Exclusive access to the Superdome VIP lounge located backstage complete with complimentary bites and cocktails

What is included with my VIP Weekend Power Pass?

The VIP Weekend Power Pass falls into 2 categories: Entertainment + Conferences and Entertainment Only. Please find the breakdown of perks for each selection below and purchase your Power Pass here.

VIP Weekend Pass – Entertainment + Conferences

  • VIP access for (1) to 3 nights of evening concerts with premier seating at the Superdome and admission into the VIP lounge located backstage complete with complimentary bites and cocktails
  • VIP admission to the Global Black Economic Forum, Beauty Carnival, and Fashion House
  • Preferred seating at The Power Stage, Gospel Tribute, and more.

VIP Weekend Pass – Entertainment Only

  • VIP access for (1) to 3 nights of evening concerts with premier seating at the Superdome and admission into the VIP lounge located backstage complete with complimentary bites and cocktails
  • VIP admission to Beauty Carnival and Fashion House
  • Preferred seating at The Power Stage, Gospel Tribute, and more.

When is the best time to travel?

The ESSENCE Festival® weekend will begin on July 4th with a free, family-friendly celebration in Louis Armstrong Park followed by 3 days of entertaining and empowering daytime experiences and 3 nights of larger-than-life evening concerts and After Dark shows. We suggest arriving on or before July 4th to join us as we kick off the ESSENCE Festival® weekend.

Is there designated Festival transportation?

We have a partnership with New Orleans Airport Shuttle for your travel upon arrival and departure from New Orleans. More information is coming soon!

Is parking available at the Festival?

Parking is available at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Superdome (based on availability and subject to fees). Please note that all parking garages require cash only.

Where should I book my hotel?

Please see a list of our recommended accommodations and book here

Do I have to purchase tickets in order to attend daytime programming?

General admission into the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the ESSENCE® Festival is free. The Convention Center is host to Entertainment All Access, The Power Stage, ESSENCE Beauty Carnival™, ESSENCE® Marketplace, and ESSENCE Eats™.

Note: There is a paid and free ticket type available for the Beauty Carnival. Paid experiences that require a ticket purchase include: Wellness House, Fashion House, E Suite, Global Black Economic Forum, and the After Dark Series.

How can I buy tickets to paid experiences?

Visit https://www.essence.com/festival/tickets/ by computer and via our mobile app. Search for the experience of your choice. Ticket availability may be limited at the door.

If I purchase a weekend pass to a paid experience that includes a VIP/Gift bag, am I entitled to a bag for each day I attend?

VIP/Gift bags are limited to one per ticket purchase. Once your retrieve your VIP/Gift bag, you will not be eligible for another.

Are tickets refundable or exchangeable for new events held outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

All purchased tickets are final sale and are neither eligible for refund nor exchange. If you purchased a General Admission ticket to the Beauty Carnival before April 1, 2019, you are eligible for a refund. Please request your refund by sending an email to customersupport@essence.com. If you do not request a refund, your ticket will be automatically upgraded to General Admission Plus without any additional payment required.

Are children allowed at the Festival?

Individuals of all ages are invited to attend the ESSENCE Festival®. Programs that require attendees to be 18+ are the ESSENCE After Dark series, the Global Black Economic Forum, E Suite, and Wellness House.

Can I bring my own food and water to Festival programming?

No outside food or beverages are allowed into any Festival venues.

Prohibited items include:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • All Weapons
  • Animals (except service animals)
  • Backpacks, Bags or Purses larger than 10 by 10 by 16
  • Balls, Frisbees, or other projectiles
  • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards or skates
  • Firearms, knives or other items and weapons considered dangerous by security or law enforcement personnel (ex: pepper spray, tasers, stun guns, brass knuckles, handcuffs, etc.)
  • Fireworks or other incendiary devices
  • *Food and Beverages (except those sold by event vendors)
  • Glass bottles or containers
  • Ice chests and coolers of any size
  • Illicit drugs
  • Laser Lights/Pointers
  • Smoking or the use of E-Cigarettes
  • Sticks or poles
  • Tripods
  • Unauthorized literature or promotional giveaways
  • Any item deemed unsafe or a potential annoyance to staff or guests

Download the App

FREE & REQUIRED REGISTRATION for guests 18+ for entry into the 2019 ESSENCE Festival® festivals, conferences, and exhibitions.

Presented by

Major Sponsors

Host Committee