Essence Festival of Culture is around the corner and looking to be bigger than ever. This year’s headliners include Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, and Jermaine Dupri amongst others. Taking place in New Orleans for the 29th time, this year’s festival will see the biggest acts in music as Hip-Hop continues to celebrate 50 years.
To help celebrate the genre’s monumental anniversary, Hip-Hop’s West Coast all-stars have been added to the bill including DJ Quik, Ice-T, Yo-Yo, Lady of Rage, JJ Fad, E-40, and Ice Cube. Repping for the women who’ve helped mold the genre are Angie Martinez, Remy Ma, Mia X, Trina, and Salt-N-Pepa.
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“It feels incredible to be returning to the Essence stage this year to celebrate 23 years since the debut of my first album,” three-time GRAMMY winning Jill Scott exclusively told VIBE. “I’ve journeyed through a little of everything from womanhood to motherhood, and now I’m a quinquagenarian, and you all stayed down with me. I’m grateful always in all ways.”
The extravaganza, presented by Coca-Cola, will offer in-person and virtual experiences for attendees near and far. This year, festival-goers can expect to feel the deep impact that Hip-Hop has had on global culture over the last five decades, from a special 25th anniversary performance of the Grammy-winning album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to a celebration of So So Def’s 30th anniversary to an unforgettable ensemble of Hip-Hop pioneers spearheaded by Doug E. Fresh.
Afrobeats stars Wizkid and Kizz Daniel will also take the stage. Comedians Deon Cole, Affion Crockett, Spice Adams, and Janelle James will offer comedic relief as DJ Spinderella, DJ Kid Capri and DJ Clark Kent will keep the party rocking over the span of four days.
“For nearly three decades, the Essence Festival of Culture has been an international and joyful gathering that empowers community throughout the global Black diaspora,” newly appointed Vice President Hakeem Holmes stated in a press release. “As the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, it continues to be a crown jewel of Black culture and plays a pivotal role in the amplification and celebration of the contributions of the Black community through business, music, and more.
“As we gear up to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, we couldn’t think of a better way to honor the contributions the genre has made on global culture and the impressions that these artists and their deep musical catalogs, which we all know so well, have been ingrained into the fibers of our day to day lives.”
Essence Fest 2023 has added new elements to its already action-packed schedule of events. Activations include nightly concerts at the Superdome, Essence Food & Wine Festival, Beautycon: Essence Festival of Culture Edition, AFROPUNK: Essence Festival of Culture Edition, Essence Center Stage, Essence Marketplace, New Voices Village, Community Corner, Essence Authors, Global Black Economic Forum and Village, Girl’s United House, Essence Family Day: The Block, and much more.
The annual event takes place from June 30-July 2 in New Orleans, La. with nightly performances going down at NOLA’s Superdome. Tickets can be purchased along with weekend packages at ESSENCEFestival.com.