This year's Essence Music Festival, July 3-6, celebrates its 20th anniversary! Essence Fest, the leading festival for African-American recording artists, will feature soul, funk, hip-hop and R&B artists, with Prince headlining.

Each night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Main Stage will be electrified with performances by the hottest stars in R&B, soul and gospel. Appearing on the Main Stage are Nas, Prince, Janelle Monae, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Lionel Richie, Erykah Badu and more! New Orleans natives August Alsina and Big Sam's Funky Nation will appear in the Superlounge. Alsina was named in XXL magazine's Freshmen Class of 2014 list and will be making his first appearance at Essence, while Big Sam's Funky Nation will be returning for an impressive third performance.

The Essence Festival's Family Day will be held on Thursday, July 3, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST at the Woldenberg Park (1 Canal Street) in New Orleans. The free event is open to families, who will indulge in a fun-filled day of entertainment, food and activities. Hosted by Carla Ferell of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, families can enjoy performances from award-winning artists Erica Campbell, Cupid, Full Force, the Nigel Hall Band, Wayna and much more at the Essence Family Day Soundstage.


African-American Empowerment

Essence Music Festival is also known for its business and
empowerment seminars newly dubbed Empower U. Business and spiritual gurus will be leading and guest speaking at seminars throughout the weekend. Notable speakers and performers include Steve Harvey, Abiola Abrams, Tiffanie Barriere, Dr. Sherry Blake, Melinda Emerson, Karli and Brandi Harvey, Sarah Jakes, Kira Orange Jones, Kim Kimble, Dr. Aletha Maybank, Marc Morial and Dr. Denise Shervington. The festival will also feature an Empower U Zone, a networking lounge powered by the National Urban League that will host both industry leaders and recruiters.  

This year Essence will host its inaugural #YesWeCode Hackathon powered by Qeyno, where 200 developers, designers, and business professionals from the tech industry join with 50 high potential youth to solve problems and transform neighborhoods. With a focus on education, health, environmental sustainability, justice, and music and entertainment, participants will build apps to brighten New Orleans.

Download the official 2014 Essence Music Festival App at no cost! Plan your schedule and share it with friends, receive the latest news on artist lineups and seminars, purchase concert tickets and more. The app is available for Android and iPhone in the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit

So join us for the party with a purpose. We'll see you there!





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