Essence Fest Comes Home

The Essence Music Festival will return to New Orleans next year after relocating to Houston following Hurricane Katrina.

The three-day event will remain in the Big Easy for the next three years under an October 23rd agreement between the city and festival owner Essence Communications Inc.

“New Orleans is just the obvious choice. It is just the perfect city with phenomenal venues,” said company president Michelle Ebanks. “It’s also important for the festival to participate in the rebirth of this city.”

This year’s festival, which featured Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, and Diddy & Friends, among others, was moved to Houston when the availability of New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center and the Superdome couldn’t be guaranteed by summer.

Louisiana state officials have been in negotiations with Essence Communications to bring the festival back to New Orleans since a few weeks after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.

Tickets for next year’s festival, scheduled for July 5-7, are expected to go on sale November 3rd.

The lineup has not been announced.