The Essence Festival, known as “the party with a purpose”, is an annual music festival that started in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed primarily at African American women. It became the largest African American culture and music event in the United States.
Locally referred to as the Essence Fest, it has been held in New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1995 except in 2006, when it was held in Houston, Texas, due to Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans.
The annual festival in New Orleans now attracts over 500,000 mostly African American women and was promoted with the movie, Girls Trip (2017).
- Ratiff, Ben. 2012. “Essence Music Festival with Mary J. Blige.” The New York Times.
- Indiewire. 2013. “Essence, MSNBC Team For 2013 Fourth Of July Weekend Festi | Shadow and Act.”
- Fensterstock, Alison. 2016. “Essence This Time: A Festival Evolving.” NPR.org.