Essence Festival of Culture 2022 – Day 1 recap

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 03: Second line performance during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 3, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)

The Essence Festival of Culture 2022 in New Orleans kicked off on July 1st, and it was a great start to an incredible weekend. 

Friday, July 1st was the kick start of the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans. This is the first time the festival is returning to its in-person celebration since 2019. To say people were excited to experience black excellence and celebrate the culture would be an understatement. This year the Festival’s theme was “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”, and it was evident in all of the attendees and talent who ‘showed up and showed out’ to New Orleans.

To start off the day, thousands of people filed into the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in order to experience the various experiences offered by Essence Festival. There were three different experiences that offered different focuses such as ESSENCE Wealth & Power™ featuring Global Black Economic Conversations, ESSENCE Studios Center Stage™ and ESSENCE Beauty Carnival™. In the experiences, there were impactful panels, great performances, and an inviting space to celebrate black individuals. Booths of black owned businesses along with food vendors also were found all around the convention center. Smiles and great conversation were in no shortage that entire day.

Once night fell, Caesars Superdome was the host to Essence Evening Concert series. The sounds of Caribbean, Hip-Hop and R&B music were filling the streets of New Orleans. Machel Montanta, Kes The Band, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Nas graced the stage and had the audience on their toes the entire night. Nicki Minaj closed out the show with an amazing set and great energy!

Day One of the Essence Festival of Culture was definitely a success. Check out our recap here!

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