What to Expect at Essence Festival

So I killed two birds with one stone (no pun intended). I accomplished two things I wanted to do; I went to New Orleans and I went to the 2018 Essence Festival! Two things I’ve been wanting to do, I did it in the same weekend. I was going to write a regular article covering every day of the event and the highlights of the festival but honestly, I couldn’t do it. The Essence Festival was more than music and a few panels; its a celebration of black culture and black people. The Essence Festival celebrates all aspects of the black community; from our social justice issues, our spirituality, our media creations, our families, our love lives, our technology, our living legends, our food, and most importantly, our women (but don’t worry they definitely appreciate black men as well don’t worry).

Essence Festival is Black Excellence and #BlackGirlMagic…on steroids. It’s such a fulfilling event, I can guarantee you will leave inspired, but as a newcomer (like myself), it can be overwhelming…in a good way of course. After experiencing everything Essence Fest and New Orleans has to offer, I will be better equipped if I get the opportunity to go to New Orleans or Essence Fest again…because I have a strong feeling I will be going again. I can’t cover every detail of Essence Fest, but I can tell you what to expect when you go there in the future. Here are the __ things you can expect at Essence Festival!

(1). Essence Festival takes over New Orleans

Literally from the time you get to the airport to the time you land in New Orleans, and everything after that…it’s all about Essence Fest.

(2). There’s a lot of walking…and Ubers/Lyfts

The conferences and performances are held in two different locations.

(3). You can drink anywhere...anytime…any place!

I must say, New Orleans, is the Vegas of the south. You can take your alcoholic drink to go and take it anywhere. How convenient!

(4). You’re going to dance.

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Yes, not just at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but at the convention center as well. From Swag Surfing to the Electric Slide, we did it all. Be prepared to twerk to some bounce music also!

(5). You’re going to make new friends. 

You could literally be at the Superdome, or walking to the convention center, and black men and women would strike up a conversation with you…or dance with you. Just be prepared to exchange social media information.

(6). There’s always a party.

There will be plenty of celebrity after parties, and the French Quarter and Bourbon street will be packed! Plan accordingly and always drink responsibly. 

(7). You’re going to be surrounded by celebrities.

I got star struck when I walked past Mali Music and Lena Waithe at the Superdome. My friend, Simone, and I saw Big Freedia, Snoop Dogg, Regina Hall, Fonzworth Bentley, and the cast of Power at the convention center. 

(8). Every music legend you can think of will be on the main stage.

I was stunned when the headliners came on, of course, but I was, even more, shook when Anthony Hamilton, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Missy Elliott, Brandy, MC LYTE, and Yo-Yo made special appearances. 

(9). You will witness the sisterhood of black women and the love and unity within the black community. 

Jill Scott and Erykah Badu share the stage at Essence Festival. (Source: Gossip)

Jill Scott and Erykah Badu share the stage at Essence Festival. (Source: Gossip)

I must say, this is the official National Black Family Cookout. You will black women from all walks of life support and love each other. You can’t help but feel positive during and after the Essence Festival. 


This is a little advice for all the single black men out there. The chances to prosper and find a bae is undeniable. It’s a 100 to 1 ratio (women to men), you better get you a black woman before they run out!