One Place Every Black Person Needs to Visit in Their Lifetime

Imagine a place where you have the opportunity to network with successful African Americans. A place where you can learn about finance, discuss the political climate and how it affects our people as well as learn how to launch a successful business. A place where you attend nightly concerts featuring your favorite artists, enjoy amazing soul food and watch screenings of documentaries, tv shows and movies before they are released. This place sounds like “heaven” but many know it as the “Essence Festival.” If you subscribe to Essence magazine, you already know about this annual festival which usually takes place on the July 4th weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana. Blacks from all over the United States as well as Africans travel to New Orleans to experience the Essence Festival. This 23-year-old festival has most attendees coming back each year.

This was my first Essence Festival and it was a wonderful experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Tip: Book your hotel close to the convention center. (My hotel was walking distance)IMG_20170630_173413676The convention center is where all the festival events are held throughout the day. There are entrepreneur workshops, celebrity interviews with the cast of your favorite tv shows and movies such as Insecure, Girls Trip, Queen Sugar, The Haves and Haves Not, Empire, as well as free giveaways and Meet and Greets with celebrities.


Michellene Barrett (left), Darrin Henson (right) Meet and Greet


Boris Kodjoe (left), Michellene Barrett (right) Meet and Greet


Cast of Survivor’s Remorse, from left to right (RonReaco Lee, Jessie T. Usher, Teyonah Paris, Erica Ash) interviewed on the Center Stage


Halle Berry on the Empowerment Stage speaking about her new movie Kidnap in theaters August 4, 2017


Tina Knowles-Lawson (left) with her financial planner Cheryl Creuzot (right) on the Empowerment Stage as they discuss her new book on financial literacy


Kenya Moore (left) interviewed on the Empowerment Stage about her recent marriage and her journey to finding true love at age 46

IMG_20170702_123226939 (1)

Eva Marcille (left) interviewed on the Center Stage about her new sunglasses line First Ave


The nightly concerts take place in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Performances on the main stage featured artists such as Jazmine Sullivan, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, India Arie, Monica, Chance the Rapper and Diana Ross. There are also performances in super lounges which are also located in the Superdome. Artists who performed in the super lounges were Xscape, Remy Ma, Shaggy, Elle Varner, June’s Diary to name a few.


These photos and words cannot begin to capture the “Essence” of Essence Festival. I guarantee at Essence Fest, you will feel inspired, encouraged and motivated to be the best version of yourself.

Please let me know, have you ever been to Essence Festival? What was your experience like?

Do you want to visit the Essence Fest after reading this?

Blog post written by Michellene Barrett Some Rights Reserved.



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