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New Orleans Essence Festival 2018

ESSENCE FEST: The Party with a Purpose

July 5, 2018 – July 2, 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded in 1995 as a single event to celebrate Essence Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, Essence Festival has since turned into one of the largest annual culturally rich music and arts festivals. Parallel to the city’s “vibrant music community,” New Orleans has continuously kept the festival’s party rolling each year, other than in 2006 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. It was only just the next year later that Essence continued its festivities in New Orleans.

Some of the previous Essence lineup’s include iconic artists like Mary J. Blige, Al Green, Boyz II Men, Maze, New Edition, The Fugees, Beyonce (debuting both as a member of Destiny’s Child and as a solo artist), Prince, and many more.

The mixture of “new school music” and “old school music” is reflected in the array of people that come to the festival. For instance, in 1998, K-Ci and JoJo, Mary J. Blige, and Usher represented R&B’s new school. The Stylistics, The Emotions, and Jeffrey Osborne represented R&B’s old school. Most of the festival-goers come for pure nostalgia. They’re able to see artists that they grew up listening to. It creates a positive environment because everyone is having a good time.

This Year’s 2018 Lineup includes Headliners Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Snoop Dogg in curation with The Roots, and other artists including Miguel, Xscape, Fantasia, Doug E. Fresh, Queen Latifah (ft. Missy Elliot and Remy Ma), SWV, Big Freedia, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., plus many more!

Behind the hype on the steady jaw-dropping lineup, other public figures in this year’s lineup include New Orlean’s native Larry Morrow, Angela Rye, Alvin Kamara, SupaCent, Lester Holt, Toya Wright and Alvin Kamara. The festival will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Essence Festival Gospel Tribute with an afternoon of musical excellence honoring music icon Dottie Peoples.

One of the greatest things about the festival is its focus on black culture, specifically women in black culture. Outside of music, the festival embraces conversation on topics like education, culture, food, style, relationships, and hosts panels on issues like politics, financial planning, and parenting. On each Sunday of the festival, a variety of events are focused on gospel and its music. Not only does it provide diversity in the many expos offered, Essence also brings in a large percentage of New Orleans’ black tourism.

This year, NewtralGroundz will be partnering with Jahzetv, a local radio host and aspiring media personality, to bring the city all of the best celebrity interviews throughout Essence. Be sure to check back at NewtralGroundz after the festival for exclusive access to behind the scenes of Essence Fest 2018.

Check out the official 2018 Essence Fest Lineup and Schedule here:


Everything New Orleans represents, Essence Festival represents. Match made in music.

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Written by Marcella Hogan

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