Lauryn Hill. Photo via Shutterstock.

Essence Festival 2023

JUNE 29, 2023 - JULY 03, 2023


Ms. Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott and Meghan Thee Stallion lead Essence's celebration of Black food, beauty, music and more.

Since 1994, Essence Festival of Culture has celebrated Black music, food and more in New Orleans. Hosted by Essence Magazine, a publication centered on African American women, the celebration moves beyond music and encourages community engagement through beauty and style workshops, Louisiana cuisine and speakers on subjects like race, gender and religion. From June 29 to July 3, Essence Festival will return to Caesars Superdome for nighttime performances, though daytime events will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Center and various spaces throughout the city for free.

This year, Essence Festival will commemorate 50 years of hip hop. Naturally, Ms. Lauryn Hill will be headlining with a special 25th anniversary performance for her genre-defining album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Joining Hill on the bill’s marquee are Meghan Thee Stallion and Missy Elliott. Last year, the event introduced the first-ever Essence Eats: Food and Wine Festival at the Sugar Mill, featuring food from Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan to Ghana’s Republic Bar & Grill. Additionally, Essence Authors will highlight newly published Black authors in a series of readings and book signings, and Essence Beauty Carnival will bring together beauty experts and influencers to celebrate all things Black and beautiful. 

The Specs

  • Essence Music Festival typically brings in over 500,000 people each year. 
  • Tickets start at $214.50 for the 3 Day Weekend Package, which includes the nighttime performances at Caesars Superdome. Daytime events are free to the public. 
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s Guide to New Orleans


What are the hours for daytime events? The daytime experience is available at the Ernest N. Morial Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

What time does Caesars Superdome open? Caesars Superdome opens each day at 6:00 p.m. 

How can I become a vendor? Essence Festival is always looking to spotlight Black-owned businesses. Apply to be a vendor here.

2023 Poster

#essencefest2023 on TikTok

BY Lauren Harvey