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There’s some unfortunate but not all that surprising news to share about the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture. Organizers have confirmed that the festival set to be headlined by Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars will not take place this year. ESSENCE originally announced a fall postponement for the Independence Day weekend fest, now the festival will return in July 2021.

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“New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell bravely recommended yesterday that no large events take place in New Orleans in 2020, and ESSENCE fully supports that decision. After continued monitoring of the evolving developments in the COVID-19 global pandemic and remaining in close contact and collaboration with our partners in the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana, we are confirming today that we will no longer move forward with the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture live experience – and look forward to returning to New Orleans in 2021,” reads an official press release.”

Still, all isn’t lost. ESSENCE is announcing the first-ever ESSENCE Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition taking place over July 4th weekend. The virtual gathering will help raise money for the ‘ESSENCE Benefit Series to Fight COVID-19′ and include live entertainment and empowerment experiences.

You can tune in on ESSENCE studios’ streaming platform.

If you bought tickets for the 2020 ESSENCE festival, organizers have confirmed that all tickets sold will be honored in 2021. They will also offer full refunds. Ticket holders should visit for further information.

It’s a shame but very smart for them to cancel ESSENCE this year, we’ll be there in 2021 to capture all the action. Until then, we’ll be up to some beignet bereavement.


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