Essence Festival 2023 Recap and Highlights

The Essence Festival is an annual celebration of music, culture, and community that has been taking place in New Orleans since 1995. Each year, the festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world to experience the vibrant energy and rich history of the city. In 2023, the Essence Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with a lineup of talented performers, thought-provoking speakers, and exciting events.

If you’re planning on attending the Essence Festival 2023, or if you’re curious about what this iconic event has to offer, then read on for a recap and highlights of what you can expect.

The History of the Essence Festival

Before we dive into the details of what to expect at the 2023 Essence Festival, let’s take a quick look at the origins of this beloved event. The festival was founded in 1995 by Essence Communications Inc., a media company that focuses on African American women and their interests. The goal was to create a platform for Black artists, musicians, and speakers to showcase their talents and share their stories.

Over the years, the Essence Festival has grown into a massive celebration of Black culture and community, attracting over half a million attendees each year. It has become a pilgrimage for many, as it not only offers top-tier entertainment but also serves as a space for empowerment, education, and connection.

The Lineup

Essence Festival 2023 Recap and Highlights

One of the most highly anticipated aspects of the Essence Festival is the lineup of performers and speakers. With past headliners including Beyoncé, Prince, and Mary J. Blige, the bar has been set high for 2023.

While the official lineup won’t be announced until closer to the festival date, there are already rumors swirling about who might grace the stage. Some names being tossed around include Lizzo, Bruno Mars, and Jill Scott. But no matter who ends up performing, you can be sure that the Essence Festival 2023 will offer a diverse and impressive lineup of talent.

The Events

Essence Festival 2023 Recap and Highlights

In addition to the mainstage performances, the Essence Festival also offers a variety of events and experiences throughout the weekend. From fashion shows to health and wellness seminars, there is something for everyone at this festival.

One event that always draws a crowd is the Beauty Carnival, where attendees can shop from Black-owned beauty brands and learn tips and tricks from industry professionals. Another popular event is the Empowerment Experience, which features inspiring panels and discussions led by influential figures in various fields.

And of course, no Essence Festival would be complete without the iconic After Dark series, where attendees can dance the night away to live music from some of the hottest DJs and artists.

How to Make the Most of Your Experience

Attending the Essence Festival is an unforgettable experience, but with so much going on, it’s important to plan ahead to make the most of your time there. Here are some tips to help you navigate the festival like a pro:

Plan Ahead

With so many events and activities happening throughout the weekend, it’s essential to plan out your schedule in advance. Take a look at the official website or app for the festival to see what’s happening and when. You can also check out any unofficial events or parties being held around the city during the festival.

Stay Hydrated and Bring Sun Protection

The Essence Festival takes place in the hot and humid month of July, so it’s important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the heat.

Dress Comfortably and Stylishly

The Essence Festival is known for its fierce fashion, but comfort should not be sacrificed for style. With lots of walking and standing involved, it’s essential to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still look fabulous. Embrace your personal style and add some statement pieces to your outfits to stand out in the crowd.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the Essence Festival 2023 taking place?

The Essence Festival 2023 will take place from July 6-9 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

How do I purchase tickets for the festival?

Tickets for the Essence Festival can be purchased through the official website or app. Early bird tickets typically go on sale months before the festival, so keep an eye out for those.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

No outside food or drinks are allowed at the Essence Festival. However, there are plenty of food vendors on-site offering a variety of options.

Are there any age restrictions for the festival?

The Essence Festival is an all-ages event, but some activities and events may have age restrictions. Be sure to check the schedule for details.

Is the Essence Festival accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the festival offers accessibility services for those with disabilities. These include reserved seating, wheelchair accommodations, and ASL interpreters. More information can be found on the official website.


The Essence Festival 2023 promises to be an experience like no other. From talented performers to empowering speakers to exciting events, this festival truly has something for everyone. So mark your calendars and start planning your trip to New Orleans for what is sure to be a weekend full of unforgettable memories and celebrations of Black culture and community. See you at the Essence Festival 2023!

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