This year's ESSENCE Music Festival, July 4-7, celebrates its 19th anniversary! ESSENCE Fest, the leading festival for African-American recording artists, will feature Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop and R&N artists, with Beyonce 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 Beyonce, Maxwell, New Edition, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Brandy and more! New Orleans natives Luke James and Kourtney Hart will appear in the Ford and McDonald's Superlounges for the first time. James and Hart were both featured as rising starts on the New & Next Stage last year.

The ESSENCE Festival's first-ever Family Reunion Day will be held on Thursday, July 4, from 11 a.m. - 6 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 and activities. families can enjoy performances from award-winning artists Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Stooges Brass Band, the Brass-A-Holics and much more at the ESSENCE Family Day Soundstage. Concert goers can also visit the Food Experience Stage Powered by Walmart to meet the finalists of the Walmart Grilling Competition, experience cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs, receive recipes, tips, tastings and more. Hosted by Carla Ferell of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, the Family Reunion Day will also feature a children's petting zoo by the Audubon Nature Institute.

African-American Empowerment
Essence Music Festival is also known for its business and empowerment seminars. Business and spiritual gurus will be leading and guest speaking at seminars throughout the weekend. Notable speakers and performers include Rev. Al Sharpton, Cheryl Landrieu, Congressman John Lewis, Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker, DJ Soul Sister, Dr. Steve Perry, Issa Rae, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Steve Harvey and Yolanda Adams.

For information on tickets and VIP packages, please visit or download the official 2013 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.

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

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