Essence to hold a ‘virtual festival’ over 2 weekends | WGNO

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Beginning today, Essence is hosting its Essence Festival of Culture as a virtual experience entitled “Unstoppable” over the course of two weekends, July 25-28 and July 2-5. In this photo, Angela Rye, left, and Tyler Perry attend the 2019 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Sunday, July 7, 2019, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Beginning today, Essence is hosting its Essence Festival of Culture as a virtual experience. Entitled “Unstoppable,” the digital festival will be held over the course of two weekends, July 25-28 and July 2-5.

The virtual experience was created in lieu of Essence’s immensely popular in-person festival normally held in New Orleans during the July 4 weekend. This year’s gathering was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Touted as “a benefit series to recover. sustain. thrive,” the festival will begin streaming on essencestudios.com at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The virtual experience is also serving as a fundraising catalyst for the company’s Unstoppable Collective, an “equity and justice benefit initiative for sustained change,” which is “a $100 million public-private-NGO partnership.”

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The experience will include virtual iterations of Essence’s popular Wellness House, Beauty Carnival, Wealth & Power, Entertainment All Access Pre-Show, Evening Concerts and a ‘Get Lifted Gospel Sunday Celebration.”

The evening concert series will feature: Amanda Black, Andra Day, Bell Biv Devoe, Bruno Mars, Burna Boys, Chronixx, Common, Damian Marley, Diamond Platinumz, Doug E. Fresh, Elephant Man, Estelle, India. Arie, John Legend, Ledisi, Nas, Patti Labelle, Raphael Saadiq, Rapsody, Sauti Sol, Shaggy, Swizz Beatz, Wyclef and more.

Festival organizers first announced the virtual experience in a tweet Wednesday, June 10, WGNO reported. To get access, users need to visit the festival page, scroll down and click the “Get Your Invite” button.

This year also marks Essence’s 50th Anniversary.

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