Essence Fest Unveils Lineup Featuring Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas & More
The 25th edition of
Essence Music Festival heads for New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome July 5-7, and will feature Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige.
Missy and Mary are listed as “Mainstage” artists, but there are tons of other performers on the bill, including Nas, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell Williams, Teddy Riley, Teyana Taylor, Timbaland and more. Each night will feature more than 30 years of performances.
The festival will also have a series of performers honoring Frankie Beverly, including Doug. E Fresh, MC Lyte, Morris Day, Musiq Soulchild, Big Freedia and Sheila E. That portion will be hosted by Loni Love with DJ D-Nice.
The event’s “Superlounges” will feature Alunageorge, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Jacquees, Ginuwine, Mase, Scarface, Normani and more. There will be a live album recordings by PJ Morton with Jojo, Luke James, Mia, and Pel.
Tickets are on sale now.
“When the ESSENCE Festival was founded 25 years ago, it marked a pivotal moment of vision and reverence – a critical acknowledgement of and investment in the power of our culture,” Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications said in a statement. “In the years since, it has set a standard that many other festivals have aspired to, and today, the ESSENCE Festival has grown to represent an annual homecoming for Black artists from across the globe. In honor of our 25th anniversary, nearly 30 artists per night over 3 epic nights will come together to mount the world’s largest and most extraordinary cultural celebration. To one and all, we say, ‘Welcome to ESSENCE. Welcome home.’”
Essence Ventures, a new company led by Richelieu Dennis, founder of Shea Moisture, purchased Essence Communications, Inc., from Time Inc., last year. That acquisition included the Essence print magazine, platforms, television specials, books, the festival in New Orleans and the South African spinoff in Durban.
The festival has become big business, raking in more than $5 million in grosses for multiple years, with more than 100,000 tickets reported in 2015.