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What Should Visitors Expect at New Orleans Essence Festival?

Starting Thursday, July 4th, the 19th annual Essence Festival will embark again upon our great city of New Orleans.  Essence Fest brings with it big-time contemporary music and entertainment, fashion, celebrity and, of course, partying. If you’re planning to travel to New Orleans for Essence Fest next week and it happens to be your first time either in the city or for the Fest, you are probably wondering what you should expect when you arrive.

The Who, What, Where, When of Essence Fest 2013

Essence Fest takes place between July 4 – 7 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orlean’s Central Business District. Some of the biggest superstars in the music industry will be performing throughout the weekend including headliner Beyonce. In addition to Beyonce, Jill Scott, New Edition, Maxwell, LL Cool J, Brandy, Keyshia Cole, Solange, Janelle Monae, “Uncle” Charlie Wilson and TGT, featuring Tyrese, Genuwine and Tank will all be performing. Originally founded in 1995 as a celebration of Essence Magazine’s 25th Anniversary. It was a huge success and therefore exists to this day. If you want to see some of the best dressed in Louisiana, this is the place to be because this is about beauty and fashion as much as it is about music.

Essence Fest: Family Reunion Day

For the first time, Essence Fest will offer a “Family Reunion Day” from 12: p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Convention Center where New Orleans native, Percy “Master P” Miller, will host a motivation seminar with his son and daughter. It will be a free mini-festival/family picnic held for the public. That same day, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., stroll on down to Woldenberg Park, which is right on the river, where an Essence-themed picnic with food, activities, and musical entertainment will be held all day long!

Essence Fest: The Main Event

Starting Friday, July 5, there will be “Empowerment Experience” speakers and seminars held at the Convention Center all day for the public in addition to the concerts that evening. Friday’s headliner will be Maxwell and you can expect a late night with him! Saturday’s concert will be a hit with Beyonce closing out as part of her ongoing Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

I’m Traveling to New Orleans: How Should My Family Enjoy Ourselves?

Essence Fest brings thousands of people to New Orleans each year and because of this, as is the case for all national events in this city, security will be heightened. Crowds of people, both residents and visitors, sometimes also brings unpleasant experiences such as bar fights, arguments, and theft. It is not difficult to avoid these circumstances, so you will want to make sure that you use our personal safety tips in New Orleans. Make sure you have phone numbers handy for New Orleans cab companies as this will help you when you cannot or do not want to walk to the Superdome or to your hotel. You can get a list of New Orleans taxi cab companies here. Regarding your personal safety, some of the main points to remember include: always stay in lit or populated areas if you are unfamiliar with the city, do not carry your cell phone or any other expensive electronics or jewelry around so people can see it, and try to stay coherent when you are drinking alcohol.  Also, contact local law enforcement if you feel violated or if you see anything suspicious.

Update: 2014 Annual Essence Festival marks 20th year for Concert Series

What If I Get in Trouble?

It is not uncommon to have too much fun in New Orleans. Actually, it is encouraged…to a point. If you find yourself in a brawl, or intoxicated to the point that you get arrested, it is a wise decision to call a New Orleans criminal lawyer that knows the city and our laws. I have a toll-free phone number especially for those who are from out of town, or have found themselves in less than desirable circumstances. Please feel free to call me at (866) 459-4478 or (504) 264-9492 if you or someone you know has been arrested in New Orleans and we can have a free consultation.  You can contact me by e-mail at You can also read my blog post about Playing it Safe at Mardi Gras and what to do if you’re arrested.

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