ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2021 announces virtual “hybrid experience”

ESSENCE has announced that the 2021 edition of its annual New Orleans festival will take place as a mostly virtual event this summer. The hybrid-style festival follows the festival’s 2020 installment, which was also virtual due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, with the theme Live Loud, ESSENCE is thrilled to curate an invaluable hybrid experience that offers the best of in-person and virtual worlds via a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of our community and the omnipresence of our culture,” organizers said in a statement.

“The annual multi-day Festival of Culture 2021 will provide content and experiences that informed, inspired and empowered our community including interactive sessions, as well as evening concerts and connection opportunities,” the statement continues.

“Local New Orleans and Louisiana residents will also have access to live-to-tape activations in honor of essential workers and first responders,” the statement adds. “All in-person events will be in strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies and will be held in partnership with the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.”

ESSENCE’s Festival of Culture pivoted in 2020 to offer the same cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience for fans at home during the pandemic. According to ESSENCE, the 2020 fest reached more than 45 million full-stream views, and featured virtual music performances from Ledisi, PJ Morton, Tank and the Bangas, The Walls Group, and other artists. 

ESSENCE Fest 2021 is scheduled to take place June 25-27 and July 2-4 and will steam live on Talent for this year’s festival will be released at a later date. 

By Rachel George
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