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Essence Music Festival in the Superdome
Essence Music Festival 

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. The 2017 lineup includes numerous Grammy Award winners and nominees, and some of the biggest legends in pop music — period. Diana Ross, John Legend, Solange and Mary J. Blige are at the top of the ticket, and are joined by Chaka Khan and local boys-done-good Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Get the full Essence event lineup.

Held the last weekend in June in New Orleans, the Essence stage lineup is complemented by dozens of policy makers, civic leaders, and entertainers who host free talks and seminars. The Rev. Al Sharpton is just one of the big names on the bill this year. 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 2017, visit

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