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Essence Festival 2015 in New Orleans

The 2015 Essence Festival will return to New Orleans the first weekend in July bringing some of the hottest stars in hip hop and soul to the Big Easy. From July 2-5, 2015, musicians, world-renowned speakers and the hottest in fashion, food and art will take over downtown New Orleans for a fun-filled and inspiring weekend of hip hop and R&B culture. Festival concert goers can expect to hear world-recognized acts like Common and Erykah Badu, but will also be treated to local Louisiana musicians such as Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dumpstaphunk and Tank and the Bangas.

Where to Buy Tickets to Essence Festival

Single night tickets are now on sale for Essence Fest for the Friday through Sunday concerts, starting at $50.00 each at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. In addition to the Superdome concerts, tickets may also be required for a number of other events around the city including some of the more popular speakers and comedians. Festival VIP tickets are also available and include VIP All Access passes backstage at the Superdome, VIP seating, complimentary food and drinks and more! The VIP single night ticket packages start at $1,000 each.

Essence Day Party tickets are also on sale for individual dates from Thursday through Sunday. These tickets are good for the shows at the Sugar Mill in the Warehouse District and General Admission starts at $42.50 per day. You’ll get treated to special DJs such as Funkmaster Flex, Spinderella and Biz Markie as well as special guests, cocktails and a perfect place to be and be seen. Weekend day party passes are also available starting at $160 and include admission for the whole weekend. VIP tickets are also available and include VIP seating, complimentary food and bar and an official Essence Festival T-shirt.

Who is Going to be Performing at Essence Fest?

You can expect multiple stages of performances all weekend long. Thursday will kick off with Trey Songz on the Main Stage, followed by Grammy award-winning Lecrae and Hollywood comedian Kevin Hart. The rest of the weekends will be jam packed with artists at the “Now Playing Superlounge,” “Soul of R&B Superlounge,” “Hot Right Now Superlounge,” “Art of Hip-Hop Superlounge,” and the Main Stage. Friday features India.Arie, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Kelly Price, B-Slade, Luenell, Avery*Sunshine, Maze Fest. Frankie Beverly, KEM, Charlie Wilson and more. Your host for the weekend on the Main Stage will be comedian Nephew Tommy, Steve Harvey’s nephew.

Saturday’s stellar lineup features Bilal, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, Esperanza Spalding, Mali Music, Louisiana’s own Mystikal, Usher, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu and Common. Closing out the weekend is Tweet, Omarion, Teedra Moses, Mase, Dumpstaphunk, Mary J. Blige, Trombone Shorty, Floetry and Kendrick Lamar shutting it down.

In addition to these widely respected and well-known musicians, powerful and influential speakers will take to the stages as well during Empower U and Empowerment. Some of these speakers include journalist Tanisha Sykes, health & fitness expert Shaun T, TV host Paul Carrick Brunson, The Money Coach® Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, writer Iyanla Vanzant, TV personality Steve Harvey, Starfish Media Group’s founder Soledad O’Brien, radio host Shirley Strawberry, Senator Karen Carter Peterson, gospel superstar and pastor Marvin Sapp, Google’s Karla Martin, Dr. Steve Perry, the Honorable La Doris “Dot” Harris, Deepak Chopra, and Reverend Al Sharpton.

Empower U will take place on the second floor of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in Rooms 208-209 on Saturday, July 4th. These speakers are free! You can sign up for these workshops to hear the speakers by clicking here.

Other Essence Fest Events

Entertainment All Access Experience: Take an exclusive look at the hottest new movies, favorite television shows and meet casts in the Essence® Screening Room located at the Convention Center.

Centerstage & Fan Zone: Free daytime activities at the Convention Center include interviews with artists, fitness demonstrations, meet and greets with the casts of new movies, and free live performances from Friday through Sunday.

Career Connection: The National Urban League brings career and entrepreneurial empowerment to the Career Connections area on the second floor at the Convention Center. This free event brings recruiters and industry executives to those looking to grow their network and careers.

Steve Harvey Dating Show: On Saturday, July 4th from 12:30-1:30p, join Steve Harvey LIVE at the Essence Empowerment Experience Stage at the Convention Center for a viewing of his dating show.

Day of Service: Essence gives back by setting up opportunities for the community to give back to three local schools in New Orleans. Volunteers will receive lunch and a t-shirt for their efforts such as planting flowers, painting classrooms, and prepping classrooms for the upcoming school year. For more information on how to register, visit the page here.

The Shops at Essence: Some of the best local food vendors will set up shop at the Convention Center in addition to a plethora of local and national artists, designers, craftsmen, and retailers. Open daily from 9:30a through 6:00p.

Essence Festival Important Information

The Festival is located in New Orleans at the Convention Center and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Parking is available at both locations, but if you plan to spend any time drinking alcohol, it is highly recommended that you leave the car at home and hop in one of the many New Orleans taxicabs or we’re happy to offer Uber this year. Pedi-cabs, the Street Car and the RTA buses are also available and running. You can see maps and schedules here. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to drink and drive and highly discouraged.

New Orleans in July is hot and sunny. Be prepared by drinking plenty of water and hydrating drinks, wearing sunscreen and a hat, and carrying an umbrella. You never know when a summer storm might pass through for a few minutes.

If you are visiting New Orleans from a different part of the country, you are reminded that although there are no open container laws here, you cannot drink out of glass in public. Make sure to ask your bartenders for a ‘geaux cup’ before you leave the establishment. You are also expected to behave, obey law enforcement and follow common laws.

If you are going to the concerts at the Superdome, remember not to bring backpacks, video or audio recording devices, weapons of any kind including bats, sticks, poles or clubs, glass, banners or illegal drugs.

Call a Lawyer If You Get in Trouble During Essence Fest

Whether you are a native of New Orleans and Louisiana, or you are visiting from out of town, you should always remember to be alert and safe. This is a fun weekend in the city for many and sometimes a little too much fun. If you find yourself in trouble, booked, or arrested in New Orleans during Essence Fest, you should call an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help minimize your stress levels and keep your family informed. Crescent City Law has many years of experience defending residents and visitors in New Orleans for a variety of crimes such as DWI, weapon crimes, drug crimes, disturbing the peace and more. Please call (504) 264-9492 or e-mail lawyer John Radziewicz if you or someone you know has been arrested in New Orleans. We are available nights and weekends, and can meet off-site as well.

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