Watch Us In Your Living Room
Enjoy Very Local on the big screen.
Visit your favorite app store to download.

Essence Festival of Culture 2020 goes virtual for two-weekends

One of the biggest festivals in New Orleans has gone virtual for 2020.

by Clint Durrett
June 30, 2020

One of the biggest festivals in New Orleans has gone virtual for 2020.

In lieu of massive crowds filling the Ernest N Morial Convention Center and Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Essence Festival of Culture will gather scores of people online for its event celebrating “music, entertainment, empowerment and culture.”

Virtual events begin at 4 p.m. June 25-28 and July 2-5.

The festival canceled its July 2020 event, which has been held in New Orleans since 1995 and drawn tens of thousands of attendees to the city. According to Essence, the festival is expected to return to the Crescent City next year.

“The Essence Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience” features live-streaming events with music, talks and wellness experiences.

Here’s what to know and when things are happening:

How do I access?

Go to Essence Studio and create an Essence ID to RSVP to the events.

When are the events?

June 25 | July 2 Wellness House: 4 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

  • Meditation, conversations, workouts, tutorials to boost mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

June 27 | July 4

  • Pre-Show: 5 p.m.
    Q&A with Hollywood faves, sneak peeks at upcoming releases.
  • Concerts: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Artists include: Amanda Black, Andra Day, Bell Biv Devoe, Bruno Mars, Burna Boy, Chronixx, Common, Damian Marley, Diamond Platnumz, Doug E. Fresh, Elephant Man, Estelle, India Arie, John Legend, Ledisi, Nas, Patti Labelle Raphael Saadiq, Rapsody, Sauti Sol, Shaggy, Swizz Beatz and Wyclef.

June 27 | July 4 Seminars and Talks

  • 12:30 p.m.: Wealth & Power seminars
    Get information on “making strides in entrepreneurship, career and personal finance.” The seminars also include information on the 2020 candidates and current issues.
  • 4 p.m.: Beauty Carnival
    Live tutorials and expert tops on “accentuating your own flawless beauty.”

June 28 | July 5 Gospel Sunday: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • Sunday worship and gospel performances.


Hi. I’m Clint. I’m the Local Market Manager for Very Local New Orleans. I’ve lived in New Orleans since 2001 and been living my best life in this rad place since that year. I have 10 years of broadcast journalism and digital media experience. Before Very Local New Orleans, I worked for WDSU-TV – producing, product developing, digital media managing– I’ve done it all. I’ve seen first-hand the trials we’ve suffered in this city and the celebrations we’ve enjoyed. I love New Orleans. It’s home. I’m going to work my hardest to bring you the content and experiences you care...

More Local Stories

Stitch: Inspiring Stories About Sports and Community

Sports create pockets of communities all across our country. For people of all ages who love the game, it’s more than just exercise: it can give hope, support, inspiration and a future

Tue. May 17 Primary Election Day in Pittsburgh

Tuesday is Election Day in Pittsburgh – we’ve got the details on where to vote and who is on the ballot

Eat Play Stay: Brews and Bigfoot in Portland, ME

Catch your very own lobsters, sample donuts and oysters, and take a selfie with Bigfoot in this booming New England seaport.

Friday the 13th: A guide to the history behind common superstitions

Why does a black cat mean trouble? Will your mama’s back really break if you step on a crack?

Hometown Tragedy Season 2 Premieres June 8

Hometown Tragedy’s second season investigates true crimes that rocked communities across America, exploring the impact on those left to seek justice. The cases range from cold-blooded murder to domestic abuse turned deadly.

Chef Dee Lavigne expands the only Black-owned cooking school in New Orleans

Deelightful Roux School of Cooking is the only African American-owned cooking school taught by a New Orleans native, and her class is a guide to New Orleans’ food culture.

Not your typical Asian takeout — a guide to international takeout food in Pittsburgh

Let’s talk international food from Korea, Thailand, India, Uzbekistan and more! This isn’t your typical takeout box.

Homestead’s Golden Age Beer Co. is ushering in a golden age of lagers

Homestead’s Golden Age Beer Company is in business to shine a light on the time-honored brews.

Where to Plan Your Next Picnic in Orlando

Take advantage of the weather by exploring some of these parks in the Orlando area to plan your next picnic.

Guide to Every Comic Book Store in Pittsburgh

Your complete guide to Pittsburgh comic book stores, including comics written and drawn by Pittsburgh creators.

drive-in movie theaters near Pittsburgh

Guide to drive-in movie theaters near Pittsburgh

Road-trip idea: Get out of the house and under the stars. Here are six drive-in movie theaters you can visit all summer long.

documentaries about Pittsburgh

9 documentaries about Pittsburgh history

From punk music in the ‘80s to a documentary about the polio vaccine, there is a lot of local history to watch

Brunchfaced: Jazz Fest Edition

I can’t think of any better way to help celebrate Jazz Fest’s 50 years of joy than with something else that brings me joy: BRUNCH.

Sierra Camille Kay’s painting puppet is a marriage between art and marionette

Kay pulls MiMi’s strings as she paints French Quarter landscapes, street performers, self-portraits, and anything else that she finds interesting.