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Essence Music Festival

The Essence Music Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in New Orleans every year. Usually scheduled for the weekend of July 4th, the festival draws huge crowds for both its music and its celebration of black culture. Spectacular shows take place in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Essence Fest draws the best of both national and local acts, with a strong representation of both the commercial sounds of rap, hip-hop, R&B, gospel and the local flavor of brass bands, jazz, and blues. 

Essence Fest began in 1995, and has since stayed in New Orleans, except for 2006 in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina. During that time, the festival has continued to grow. 

Essence is much more than just a series of concerts. Attendees have the opportunity to interact with artists, experts and speakers to explore black culture and help empower others. Through a series of outstanding seminars in the Convention Center, festival goers can attend free workshops on everything from creating budgets and starting businesses to single parenting and flirting tips.