For the past 20 plus years, every first weekend in July New Orleans becomes the epicenter of Black culture. The Essence Music Festival, and not only is it a festival it’s a experience and a celebration of our culture.
I was privileged to attend Essence this year and it truly is a bucket list item. Let's start with how many black people you see over the weekend embracing positivity and love. Multiple generations come to this event, primarily attended by woman a single guy on his A game would be in heaven during Essence weekend. If he doesn't get at least one phone number he needs to adjust his game.
The Essence convention held every day during the weekend is a overwhelming experience. Backed by some big name sponsors such as Coca Cola, Disney, McDonalds, Ford, AT&T and Wal Mart among others. The convention contains screenings for new films and television shows, celebrity interviews, independent vendors, meet and greets, workshops on financial literacy, building brands, gaining business, overcoming hurdles in life and so much more.
Be prepared to walk the expansive space and stand in line for all the FREE stuff being given out. Most the free items and sample sizes given away are items you need. I received 3 bars of deodorant, some soap, and other trinkets from a Dove giveaway bag.
Most importantly though you saw Woman taking their daughters, granddaughters, or little sisters to Essence and get inspired and learn young just how great and beautiful they are.
Nothing's perfect no matter how well planned out it is, and the Essence convention was no exception. I waited in a ridiculous long line to meet Regina Hall and the cast of Power, only for them to take photos for 20 minutes and maybe meet 15 people. There wasn't much communication provided to folks about what was what. Of course if you asked a staff member a question, you received a different answer than the last staff member you asked. All the meet and greets were confined to one space which didn’t help matters. I'm not sure how meet and greets were handled the rest of the weekend or in previous years, but it was horrible this year.
There's also small companies and vendors selling their products inside the convention. Paintings, workout gear, fish fry, BBQ sauce, statues, and more all available from vendors. Outside the convention there's even more vendors selling t-shirts, hair care products, soap, cd’s and more. There were also promotional giveaways outside the convention. Walk a few blocks away all food trucks selling food you can eat while your on the go.
Now Essence should really send Universal Studios and the cast and crew of “Girls Trip" a thank you gift. There were so many groups of woman who were clearly inspired by Girls Trip and The Flossy Posse down there. A newspaper article mentioned there were over 500,000 people in New Orleans and it clearly showed. After Monday Morning it looked like a completely different place.
Along with the girls trip inspired crowd, there’s somebodies ol’ uncle who still think they cool and can dress. Hell going down I felt like I was on soul plane.
Essence is definitely catered to woman, and they throw a guy a bone here and there. If you like good music the concert is definitely for you. Love Black culture you’ll appreciate the convention's. It truly is a celebration and a bucket list item and I highly recommend attending one year if you can.
About The Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is become to a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets. Follow him on Instagram @iam_beasy