Essence Music Festival, the premier event for African-American music, culture and soul, is coming back to New Orleans over the July 4th weekend 2009.
Since 1995, The Essence Music Festival annually has been the largest and most expansive gathering of African-American musicians spanning from jazz to pop to R&B and soul inviting the most important and talented African-American artists of the last two decades for a three day, multi- tiered celebration of the African-American woman.
The three day seminar and music festival, kicking off July 3rd , features over 30 live musical acts with headlining performances from Beyoncé and John Legend on Friday, Maxwell and Anita Baker on Saturday, and Lionel Richie and an all-star ESSENCE ICONS TRIBUTE to Maze featuring Frankie Beverly on Sunday.
2009 marks the 15th anniversary of the critically acclaimed festival annually held in the Big Easy.
MC’d by BET’s seminal comedian Jonathan Slocumb, the three day weekend is more than just a music festival. Essence as a celebration combines music as well as empowerment seminars to promote the Essence brand’s ideal of “Where Black Women Come First.” According to the website, the ESSENCE Empowerment Seminar Series is the daytime destination for festival attendees that delivers compelling and inspirational messages by some of our most renowned leaders and entertainers, such as Bill Cosby, Dr. Juanita Bynum, Bishop T.D. Jakes, George C. Fraser and Ed Gordon to name a few.
With an estimated weekend attendance of over 270,000 people, the festival is considered annually as the largest African-American music and empowerment event in the country.
Weekend ticket packages range from $153 - $545, where as one day tickets cost anywhere from $51 - $200 for evening performance tickets and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
Seminars are being held daily free of charge at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center located at 900 Convention Center Blvd, in Hall C from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
For festival goers who haven’t quite had enough of the entertainment during the main festival, The Metropolitan night club will be hosting the Official Essence Encore after party, hosted by Idres Elba and MC Lyte. The night features some of the most exciting DJ’s and dance music (not to hottest concert goers) blowing up the Big Easy deep into the morning. Tickets for the after party range from $40 for general admission to $70 for VIP per day running on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 10:30 pm.
For more information, ticket sales and up to the minute information on the festival, click here.
The 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL day-by-day line-up (as of 3/26) is as follows:
Friday, July 3: Main stage: Beyoncé, John Legend, Ne-Yo, Salt N Pepa, DJ Soul Sister, Superlounges: Eric Benet, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Solange, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Keri Hilson, Marva Wright, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Preservation Hall Jazz Band Revue, Dwele DJ, Captain Charles, DJ Jubilee, DJ Dave Soul and DJ EF Cuttin.
Saturday, July 4: Main stage: Maxwell, Anita Baker, Robin Thicke, Charlie Wilson, Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Soul Sister, Superlounges: Ledisi, Janelle Monae, Zap Mama, Irvin Mayfield, Dan Dyer, Little Freddie King, DJ Captain Charles, DJ Jubilee, DJ Dave Soul and DJ EF Cuttin.
Sunday, July 5: Main stage: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Lionel Richie, Al Green, Teena Marie, En Vogue, DJ Soul Sister, Superlounges: Raphael Saadiq, Lalah Hathaway, Melanie Fiona, Ryan Leslie, Blind Boys of Alabama, The Knux, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave All Stars, Rebirth Brass Band, DJ Captain Charles, DJ Jubilee, DJ Dave Soul and DJ EF Cuttin.