Missy Elliott

Essence Music Fest 2024

JULY 04-07, 2024


Deemed a “party with a purpose,” Essence Festival is back for its 30th year to celebrate Black culture through daytime talks and an evening music festival.

The Essence Festival of Culture, known as the “party with a purpose,” will celebrate its 30th year of empowering the African American community. The three-day Essence Fest is hosted by Essence Magazine, a publication for Black women, and about African American culture. There are daytime workshops and talks by Black authors, and cooking demonstrations alongside a bustling marketplace. Many of these are free and scattered throughout New Orleans’s downtown area, while others are held inside, previously at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Last year there was a Global Black Economic Forum, a Beautycon and Beauty Carnival, and the Essence Eats: Food & Wine event. The main excitement tends to revolve around beauty and wellness workshops (past ones have included make-up challenges featuring Supa Cent and a forum on owning your sexuality and sensuality)—as well as the music, but you can expect panels, workshops and shopping focused on entertainment, beauty, health and wellness, empowerment, entrepreneurship, and more. There’s even a boat party.

Come nightfall, the festival moves to Caesars Superdome in downtown NOLA. The venue transforms into a concert hall, with legendary R&B, soul, funk, gospel, and hip-hop acts on either the main stage, for headliners, or the second stage, dubbed “Superlounge,” where all others perform. This year’s lineup includes Ms. Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. Past performers include icons like Prince and Aretha Franklin. 

The Specs

  • Essence Music Festival expects 500,000+ people every year.
  • Purchase tickets: Tickets cost $165 for early bird pricing and are upwards of $200 thereafter. Daytime experiences are free and open to the public.
  • Here’s how to spend the rest of your time in New Orleans.


What is the closest airport to Essence Music Festival? 

The John Glenn Columbus International Airport is right in town. The fest takes places at Caesars Superdome (originally Louisiana Superdome, formerly Mercedes-Benz Superdome).

Is the event ADA-accessible?

The festival adheres to the ADA accommodations of the Caesars Superdome. There are designated entrances for those with disabilities. 

Where should I stay? 

There are suggested hotels on the website, from the Courtyard New Orleans Warehouse District to the Saint Vincent Hotel in the Garden District and others in the Central Business District and the French Quarter. Of course, hotels and home rentals abound in New Orleans, so options are plentiful.

What are the hours? 

Daytime experiences typically run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Caesars Superdome opened at 6:00 pm last year for evening performances.

Where can I learn more about the festival experience, party packages any special events or special offers?

Visit the fest’s website on Essence’s site.

Who’s playing Essence Festival 2024?

Ms. Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Megan Thee Stallion, Doug E Fresh & Friends, Jermaine Dupri & Friends, Angie Martinez & Friends, Deon Cole, Affion Crockett & Spice Adams, Janelle James, DJ Clark Kent, Kid Capri, DJ Spinderella, Wizkid, Monica, Tobe Nwigwe, Kizz Daniels and more to be announced. 


Essence Music Festival Lineup


BY Logan Davis