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Experience the Essence Music Festival held each July in New Orleans.

Stay tuned for 2016 information.

Essence Festival began in 1995 as Essence Magazine’s 25th birthday party. The Essence Music Festival has become, in the words of its founders, “the largest African-American music and empowerment event in the country,” attracting more than 200,000 people to New Orleans each year.

Each year the lineup of musical stars, inspirational speaker and empowerment events grows bigger and better. 2014 lineup includes stars like Nas, Prince, Lionel Richie and Mary J. Blige, Janelle Monáe, Nile Rodgers and so many more. Get the full Essence event lineup.

Held each July in New Orleans, the Essence stage lineup is complemented by dozens of policy makers, civic leaders, and entertainers who host free talks and seminars in the Empowerment Experience. Expand your tools to better the world with talks from Alicia Keys and more. Get the full Empowerment Experience lineup.

Essence Music Festival is unique among major events in New Orleans and throughout the country, and it ranks among the most popular events in the world designed for African-American audiences. For details and updates on Essence Music Festival 2014, visit

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