Rebranded: New Essence Owner Reveals Name Change Of Annual New Orleans Festival

The Essence Festival kicked off on July 4th weekend with a major bang—and that was before the fireworks went off!

The festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in New Orleans and launched several new components to maximize their milestone.

The weekend opened with a private kick-off celebration and press conference hosted by “The Real” host Loni Love. The event included the festival’s corporate sponsors, media guests and New Orleans dignitaries.

During the opening gathering, Essence Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis announced that the festival is changing its name to the Essence Festival of Culture.

The name change is reflective of how Essence has overloaded its once-music driven festival with a bunch of sub-festivals like Essence Eats, a food and wine festival; Essence Beauty Carnival, a glam and fashion component; Global Black Economic Forum, an entrepreneur and business expo; Essence Entertainment All Access, a film and TV festival; and Essence After Dark, a series of late night comedy and themed music concerts.

The new era of Essence also culminates its 25th anniversary and its 24th year in New Orleans—they spent one year in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Katrina.

Check out a sizzle reel from the kick-off event below.

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