Essence Festival 2019 will take place July 4 to July 9, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The exact events vary year to year. They are SUBJECT TO CHANGE at Essence Inc’s discretion. Traditionally, there are 3 consecutive nights of concerts held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In the daytime there are often speakers, sponsors, and vendors at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Additionally, plenty of parties and special events happen during Essence Festival Weekend that are not officially sponsored by Essence. Follow our blog so you don’t miss out on these events. >>Our Blog
It varies year to year. The 2018 Line Up was released at the end of January 2018. They often continue to add artists until right before the event.
Yes. Essence does sale single day tickets, but they usually do not put them on sale until a couple months before the festival. They went on sale in early April during Essence Festival 2018.
Most Essence Festival attendees arrive on Thursday or early on Friday. The nightly concerts fall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. However, if you want to check out some other New Orleans attractions and enjoy the French Quarter before the crowds, then we recommend arriving on Wednesday.
Ideally, the best areas to stay in are the French Quarter or the Central Business District for easy access to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, restaurants, and the party atmosphere on Bourbon Street. Check out our Accommodations page for more details on lodging.
No. Most official Essence festival events are only in two places: The Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. After the concerts there is a cab line at the Superdome. Uber and Lyft are also available in New Orleans. Additionally, there are so many throngs of people walking back to their hotels after the concerts that safety generally is not an issue.
Yes. You will notice large crowds at Essence Festival especially in the French Quarter. The table service restaurants can also have very long waits. Try to have lunch and dinner during “off-hours”. After the concerts, if it’s at all possible, we recommend you walk back to your hotel (even if it’s a 20 minute walk) because the traffic after the concerts can be terrible. A 7 minute cab ride can easily turn into 30 or 40 minutes of bumper to bumper traffic. Especially, if you are headed north towards Canal Street and the French Quarter.
No. The convention center events are free for anyone. You do not need to attend the concerts or any other event to gain entry.
There are four super lounges (a.k.a mini concert rooms) located at the four corners of the Superdome on the “loge” level or 200/300 level. It is standing room only, but it is very up close and intimate. You do not need a separate ticket to enter the lounges. The ticket you used to get in allows you access to ALL the performance areas in the Superdome.
There are performers in each superlounge who perform simultaneously. This is all happening while acts are still on the Main Stage. So, when the concerts are in full swing, you’ll have a maximum of five performers (mainstage & four superlounges) performing at the same time. The only person that doesn’t have to compete with the superlounges will be the “headliner” or closing performer on the mainstage each night.
Yes, you can carry around open containers of alcohol provided it is inside of a plastic cup. You cannot carry around alcohol in a metal or glass container. French Quarter bartenders already know this and serve most drinks in a plastic cup by default.