ESSENCE Communications announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama will headline its 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans, LA, taking place July 4-7, 2019. On the heels of the historic success of her book Becoming, the appearance will mark Mrs. Obama’s first engagement at the Festival and will include a sit-down interview on July 6 at the Louisiana Superdome. Mrs. Obama also appeared on the December 2018 cover of ESSENCE magazine and will contribute the monthly closing article – A Word – to the July/August issue.
“We are indescribably thrilled and honored to have ‘Forever First Lady’ Michelle Obama as a part of our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival, which will mark our most exciting and extensive programming to date,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications. “As inspiring and aspirational as it is relatable, Mrs. Obama’s story – told on her own terms – is a remarkable example and celebration of everyday Black women who accomplish extraordinary things, who confront challenges with courage and truth, and who remind us that all things are possible when we support one another. Over 25 years, the Festival has done just that – becoming a cultural home for millions of Black women to honor, celebrate and engage each other in service and sisterhood, laughter and love, and empowerment and community.”
The 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival will have its largest footprint ever, spanning more than 10 venues across New Orleans and encompassing several new and enhanced curated experiences. These include the Global Black Economic Forum; Fashion House; Wellness House; ESSENCE Black Excellence Awards; ESSENCE Food & Wine Festival; ESSENCE Music Festival; Beauty Carnival; ESSENCE After Dark; ESSENCE Film & TV Festival; Power Stage; E-Suite; ESSENCE Marketplace; and ESSENCE Day of Service/Girls United.
In addition to Mrs. Obama’s appearance, an epic ‘homecoming’ musical line-up of more than 80 performers is slated at the Louisiana Superdome – including Mary J. Blige, Nas, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., Big Freedia, Davido, Frankie Beverly, Jermaine Dupri, MC Lyte, Pharrell Williams, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike (RBRM), Sheila E., Teddy Riley, Teyana Taylor, Timbaland, and more. A 25th-anniversary celebration of 1994’s most culturally impactful and transformative albums that redefined pop culture will also be curated and performed by the original artists. These include Mary J. Blige’s My Life, Nas’ Illmatic, Brandy’s Brandy, Method Man’s Tical, Scarface’s Diary, Big Daddy Kane’s Daddy’s Home, Da Brat’s Funkdafied, Slick Rick’s Behind Bars and Brownstone’s From the Bottom Up.
For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival® visit Essence.com/festival.