Essence Festival 2015 brought the love to the community in New Orleans with a day of service on Thursday, July 2. The day of community service took place before the festival itself opened on Friday, and attracted many powder-blue shirted volunteers to give back to the community at specially chosen sites across New Orleans.
Vanessa K. De Luca is editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, the main sponsor of Essence Festival. De Luca said that the theme of the community-centric festival this year is “bring the love,” and is inspired by Maya Angelou.
— Charreah Jackson (@Charreah) June 30, 2015
The essence of this “weekend-long party with a purpose” is its focus on community, and “empowering all who attend.” The festival is always looking for ways to support the community and reach an ever-wider audience. This year, the festival will include a free live stream that covers 100 hours of the 15 hours of daily programming each day. They’ve also added a festival app for easier access.
There’s good reason to watch every minute possible of the festival’s free video streaming from the heart of New Orleans. Each year at Essence fest, even more amazing acts are lined up to entertain the more than 550,000 expected participants at the “bigger than ever” festival. Whether your thing is hip-hop, R&B, or soul, the over 40 acts are guaranteed to make New Orleans the place to be this weekend. According to InStyle magazine, “there’s tons of jam-packed performances from music’s most-talented names.” A full schedule and all the amazing acts, including Common, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, and Mary J. Blige, are listed on the Essence Festival website.
There’s so many great events at #EssenceFest so sad I can’t make them all but excited for the few I get to hit up!
— Ashia T. (@AshiaT_) July 3, 2015
Even with predicted thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday, the world is heading to New Orleans, and festival goers are loving it. The New Orleans weather might not cooperate with the spirit of the festival, but that’s not going to stop people bringing the love.
With the essence of the three-day music fest all about building community, the festival will also feature seminars on race and reconciliation as part of its 2015 focus on peace, prayer, and purpose, and a special free empowerment talk with Deepak Chopra.
— Felicia Rangel (@Feferang) July 1, 2015
De Luca explained that festival organizers hope people will embrace “what we know our strengths can be when we really embrace each other and bring the love.”
“Especially around race relations and social issues, we felt it was important to make everyone come to the festival with a feeling of community and culture.”
[Image via WDSU]