Essence… I wondered if after 24 years of spectacular events – could the festival live up to the hype of its 25th anniversary? The answer is a resounding, yes!
I saw my first Beyoncé concert at the Essence Festival a few years ago, and yes it was magical… but don’t get it twisted, the 25th-anniversary performances of Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, and Frankie Beverly and Maze did not disappoint.
The atmosphere was electric as over 20,000 people gathered from around the world to learn, laugh, dance, and bask in the joy of simply being together. An impressive list of celebrities, politicians, entertainers, influencers, corporate executives, and many more wowed the crowd with their valuable insights and remarkable talents.
Michelle Obama was featured as a headliner on Saturday night… and I, along with many others, wondered how a speaker would fit in the middle of a major concert. I mean, how do you party, stop, listen to a speaker, and then party again? Well, let me just say, Ms.Obama is bad to the bone! Not a seat was empty, and you could hear a pin drop as she eloquently and humorously revealed the real Michelle Obama. Brilliant Essence, Brilliant!
The new owner, Essence Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis, brings a new vision and has committed to everything from providing grants for Black women through the $100 Million New Voices Fund, to continue expanding the festival to new heights. This year the festival included everything from wine tasting to a Hair Club and a Breakfast Bar sponsored by Sundial and Unilever.
With all that said, Black Girl Magic was on full display at the festival’s Beauty Carnival. This expo offered a real chance to sample products, attend seminars, buy products, and be your authentic self.
Does the Essence Festival still have the magic? Yes, it does!
If you plan to attend in 2020 book your hotel room early – they sell out quickly!