Coming off its most successful year ever with more than 270,000 attendees this past July, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL returns to New Orleans July 3, 4 and 5, 2009 with headliner Beyoncé. In celebration of the event’s 15th anniversary, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL will offer a 15% discount on select tickets from December 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.
The annual weekend of entertainment and empowerment–hailed by USA TODAY (7-7-08) as having “achieved a balance of old-school homage and cutting-edge innovation at the Superdome”–will once again dazzle and uplift with an unprecedented three days of cultural celebrations over the festive Fourth of July holiday weekend. As in past years, musical performances are slated for the New Orleans Superdome and empowerment seminars are set to take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“As we plan the Essence Music Festival’s 15th anniversary in New Orleans next July, we are looking to create an environment that celebrates our history and looks to our future,” said Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence Communications Inc. “We invite everyone to join us as we mark this milestone occasion with friends old and new.”
With more than twelve musical performances a day from some of today’s greatest African-American artists, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL sets itself apart from other music events around the world by including three full days of empowerment seminars. The empowerment seminars–which are free of charge–are open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Initial seminars for next year include Women’s Day: Getting the Life You Deserve featuring Dr. Juanita Bynum (Friday, July 3); State of Black America II: Realizing the Dream hosted by Roland Martin (Saturday, July 4); An All-Star Tribute to Bishop T.D. Jakes (Sunday, July 5).
The 2008 outing featured headlining performances from Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Chris Rock and Rihanna, with Empowerment Seminar appearances by Tyler Perry, Dr. Bill Cosby, Rev. Al Sharpton, Mayor C. Ray Nagin, Hill Harper, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Juanita Bynum and Tom Joyner. As the event concluded, concert attendees learned that platinum singer-songwriter-producer and actress Beyoncé would make her third appearance at the 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL. Look for announcements about additional performers and seminars in early 2009.
With some of the biggest names in entertainment and the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors and leaders, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events” by Advertising Age.
In its 15-year history, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Mary J. Blige, The O’Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams.
The 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).
General admission daily tickets are available for $51, $67 or $79; floor seats are $92 and $121; Gold Circle tickets are $173; all plus applicable service charges. Note: the 15% discount only applies when tickets are purchased for all three days and does not apply to floor or Gold Circle tickets. To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-277-1700.