What began as a “party with a purpose” in 1995 has since grown into a “Festival of Culture,” aimed at uplifting and celebrating the African-American community through ESSENCE magazine and its valued readership.
Listed as a can’t-miss summer festival, EFC 2022 returned to its host city of New Orleans from June 30 to July 3, after the pandemic relegated its two-year in-person hiatus. Throughout the busy 4th of July weekend, several concert stages and family activities took place with sponsorship from Coca-Cola and other major corporations.
During its daytime events, world leaders and notable talents, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Keke Palmer, Issa Rae and many more, navigated important conversations about the ESSENCE Wealth & Power stage and the central stage, within the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. And at night, superstar music artists such as Nas, Nicki Minaj, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Janet Jackson, Wizkid, City Girls and more lit up the main festival stage and “Super Lounge” areas of the Caesars Superdome.
Offsite, many additional, unofficial and official activations took place, including an ESSENCE Film Festival, a “Get Lifted” Gospel Experience, a Global Black Economic Forum, the ESSENCE Beauty Carnival, and a dedicated men’s experience titled PETROL in its area.
Rising actor Kofi Siriboe – guest speaker at EFC – who stars in the hit New Orleans-based TV series sugar queen, also joined in the weekend festivities by hosting a “Space & Spirits” celebration. Siriboe has partnered with All Real Things, Good Taste Atelier, and Diaspora Dialogues’ Koshie Mills, to give visitors a “real taste” of New Orleans, complete with authentic food, drink, and dancing (featuring live music). music provided by DJ Kitty Cash), at the Center d’art contemporain. Speaking about the return of EFC and its celebration weekend, Siriboe said: “Our culture is important and deserves to be celebrated. I love hosting a private celebration at Essence Fest and creating a space and atmosphere for my supporters and fans to connect with me in a more relaxed way.
Noted as one of the biggest music festivals in the worldEFC has consistently posted record attendance numbers of 500,000+, with previous artists including Beyoncé, Kanye West, John Legend, Femi Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Internet and many more.
More information on the ESSENCE Culture Festival and the announcement of its 2023 program are available on its website.
In other music news, here are some of the biggest moments from HOT 97’s Summer Jam 2022.