Essence Festival of Culture is back in 2022 after 2 years of virtual events, once again sweeping the streets of New Orleans and beyond in a dazzling celebration of black womanhood. This year marks the return of an in-person gathering as well as a hybrid option for virtual attendees. From June 30th to July 3rd, Essence honors the strength and resilience of the black community with the black joy at the heart of this historic revival of the classic Essence Fest format.
"The reimagining of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans as a 'phygital' — fully physical and fully digital — experience will be epic," Caroline Wanga, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc., said in a statement. "Given what we have collectively experienced over the last two years, the opportunity to convene and uplift in the spirit of culture, equity, celebration and joy is more of a privilege and honor than it has ever been."
RevAir wants to include our community in the celebration. That's why we're giving away a trip for two to Essence Festival 2022 (more info on this at the end of the blog!). Bring the style, the heat (or the heatless natural hair), the power and the presence. This year's Essence Fest is sure to be lit.
How Essence Fest Broke the Industry and Continues to Inspire
Since 1995, Essence Festival has been defined as "a party with a purpose." This annual music festival was first envisioned as a one-off celebration of the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine. The first-ever Essence Fest occurred during the height of black music and artistic prominence in the mid-90s and grew to become the largest celebration of African American culture, creativity, and art in the United States. Over 142,000 attendees filled the arena in NOLA to hear powerhouse performers like Aretha Franklin and B.B. King.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Over a decade later, Essence Festival continues to bring together the best artists and influencers in an annual homage to the power of black women. The most groundbreaking performances include stars like Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, Patti LaBelle, Summer Walker, Saweetie, Janelle Monae, Ari Lennox and more. Many African American fashion designers and business moguls have gotten their start at Essence Fest.
This event has been especially pivotal to the hair and beauty industry. Over the years, we've seen the amazing brands debut at Essence Fest and have watched the evolution of the natural hair industry take flight. After all, the heart of Essence is about embracing black womanhood. We honor that power and femininity even as we enjoy some killer sets and performances from top hitmakers and emerging talent.
Essence Fest may have begun as a homage to a pivotal part of black culture, but the event has grown and continues to evolve every year just as we redefine what black culture means to each new generation. The legacy of a rich, musical heritage paves the way for future greatness.
More Than the Music
Essence Festival is about more than the music. This event uplifts the black community in America through economic inclusion, social equity, and innovation. The festival typically occurs on the 4th of July weekend and has proved to be a key aspect of empowering black businesses as well as the city of New Orleans. In 2018 alone, Essence Festival had an economic impact of $280 million.
New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell, praised the impact of this iconic music fest on the NOLA community. "Essence brings so much to our city and our economy and I can't wait to see what this year has to offer. New Orleans and the ESSENCE Festival are inextricably linked through our remarkable history and our steadfast focus on and commitment to culture, community, and economic inclusion. We look forward to continuing this partnership to create an even deeper legacy of impact and inclusion for our city and for all who will join us in July to make this experience the best yet."
Essence Festival 2022 carries on the impact by keeping the "purpose" of the party foremost in mind. Building strong communities is more important now than ever in the wake of Covid-19. Not only is the legendary music festival a celebration of blackness, but integral in supporting black-owned businesses and locale. From the ever-evolving and diversifying beauty industry to the entertainment arena and beyond, all are welcome to this impactful event.
As Wanga so eloquently summarizes, "we look forward to our homecoming in New Orleans and to strengthening our impact as a cornerstone of Black culture, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion, working always to serve Black women and communities deeply."
It's the Black Joy for Me!
This year's theme is "It's the Black Joy for Me!" Essence Festival 2022 is honoring the resilience, tenacity, and vibrance of black women. The last few years have served to bring many battles of social justice and equity to the forefront of our communities.
Our indomitable spirit is the foundation of our beauty. Let's celebrate together in NOLA!
Curious about what goes on at Essence Festival? Let's start with the music. Get ready for the most insane lineup of the year with A-list artists and entertainers dazzling the arena. Performances are nonstop with theatrics, lighting, photos, and opportunities to get up close with your favorite artists. The main stage highlights featured artists alongside four standing-room-only super lounges. The best in the soul, hip-hop, R&B, and funk come together in one arena for an event like no other. Let the event map guide your experience with great entertainment, amazing food, and the chance to rock your best music fest looks.
Essence Festival 2022 plans to be the most expansive venue yet in terms of supporting the wider African American community. Nearly one million square feet of space will be devoted to empowerment programming with a focus on networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more. In the interests of promoting accessibility and inclusion, virtual audiences are encouraged to attend from anywhere in the world. The virtual line-up will include live streaming of select on-the-ground activities and exclusive digital content so every participant is a part of the magic.
What is the Essence Festival 2022 Lineup Forecast?
In the spirit of Black Joy, Essence Festival has an iconic set of performers announced for the 2022 season. Featured artists include music industry titans and groundbreaking performers. The rise of black artists has never been more meteoric. Essence Festival 2022 is about to be history in the making as an array of talents come together for a celebration of culture, pride, and style.
Our Essence Festival giveaway wants to bring you a step closer to fire performances and an unforgettable experience. The Essence Festival 2022 lineup includes:
- Janet Jackson
- Nicki Minaj
- Kevin Hart
- New Edition
- The Isely Brothers
- The Roots & Friends
- Summer Walker
- Jazmine Sullivan
- D-Nice & Friends
... and many more to be announced!
Other events include the famous Gallier Hall where attendees can catch up on the latest fashion trends, enjoy runway shows, and shop alongside A-listers in one unforgettable weekend. The convention center plans to host a series of talks pertinent to emerging topics in the black community, as well as nonprofit spotlights, youth empowerment activities, and networking and professional panels. Shopping is always a must as featured designers will be debuting their latest creations and looks at Essence Fest. If you're traveling from out of town, you'll want to check a bag for this one.
And of course, Essence Eats is back in 2022 to deliver 5-star catering and local, black-owned food trucks throughout delivering delicious fare, sweet treats, and beverages to keep you on your toes. Partake in traditional New Orleans street food and fine dining throughout the convention floor as well as at adjacent partner hotels.
Don't forget to include time for a little self-care in your weekend itinerary. Health and wellness at a music fest? Essence says yes! Attendees can embark on a full spa experience, test out the latest skincare and hair care products for textured and curly locks, and be a part of a powerful community of fashion-forward goddesses. For any who have felt there are never enough options for her hair type at commercial beauty chains, Essence wants to flip the script and promote inclusive health and wellness. The beauty revolution starts on the convention floor.
There are a million ways to spend your weekend exploring all that Essence Festival 2022 has to offer. All that's missing from this year's star-studded array of artists? You and a friend!
Be a part of the joy at Essence Festival 2022. Join our natural hair community to stay informed on updates and learn about how you can win two tickets, flights and accommodation to the year's most iconic music festival (giveaway ends May 22nd, 2022). Subscribe now for all the latest updates and news about future giveaways.