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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola is back in person after a two-year break! On Thursday morning, Toya Johnson, joined by several ESSENCE leaders and sponsors, hosted a press conference to provide a full overview of the exciting, new ESSENCE Festival of Culture Experiences.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser also spoke at the event, sharing in their own words, the significance of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.

The ESSENCE leadership team, including CEO Caroline Wanga, provided additional details about the transformation of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture, the lineup, and this year’s theme, “It’s the Black Joy For Me!” From their website, the goal of ESSENCE is to: Mobilize, inform, and uplift the largest global gathering of everyday multigenerational Black women in a safe space to achieve new levels of sisterhood, personal development, wealth creation, civic engagement & community leadership.

Since 1995, ESSENCE Fest has been a staple in the city of New Orleans. The summer fest takes place 4th of July weekend each year. Festival events begin on Thursday and continue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The most-anticipated part of ESSENCE Fest is arguably, the concert series. In 2022, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, and New Edition are among the headline acts at the Caesars Superdome. Actor and comedian, Kevin Hart is also part of the entertainment, with a comedy show on Thursday.

Other festival events include:

  • ESSENCE E Suite
  • ESSENCE Beauty Carnival
  • ESSENCE Wellness House
  • ESSENCE Studios Center Stage
  • ESSENCE Evening Concert Series at the Caesars Superdome
  • ESSENCE After Dark Comedy and Music Experiences
  • ESSENCE In His Zone Men’s Experience
  • ESSENCE Film Festival
  • ESSENCE Eats Food & Wine Festival
  • ESSENCE Health Club
  • ESSENCE Tech Summit
  • ESSENCE Wealth & Power
  • ESSENCE Get Lifted Gospel Celebration