The mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell, announced yesterday, there will be no large events or festivals in NOLA this year. Essence formally announced the cancellation of the festival on their website.
“ESSENCE and the City of New Orleans have a partnership that thrives in good times and is made even stronger in challenging times,” Mayor Cantrell in a statement on Essence.com. “We share an uncompromised commitment to the best interest of our local community and our tourist community, and the priorities right now are providing support to those who have been affected by the disproportionate impact of the pandemic here in New Orleans and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our great city in 2021 for the return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture and to once again helping to create such an unmatched and magical experience.”
While the festival as we know it is cancelled, Essence announced they will be implementing a virtual festival that will bring the essence of Essence fest to its fans. According to the website, “ESSENCE Studios streaming platform will host the first-ever ESSENCE Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition over July 4th weekend as a multi-day experience and benefit celebration.”
They added, “Women across the globe and their families will engage in interactive, live opportunities to be inspired, empowered, entertained and transformed as they enter a new economic, spiritual and wellness journey ahead.”
Essence Festival is a top tourist attraction and income driver for the city of New Orleans. Last year’s festival drew over 500,000 attendees with performances from Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Mary J. Blige, HER and more.
Essence is offering refunds to ticket holders via https://www.essencefestival.com.