New Orleans- Essence Fest July 2017

I've wanted to go to Essence Music Festival for years now, and I'm so glad I finally got the chance to go. It was a pleasure to be back in one of the most photogenic cities in the US.  New Orleans, you were good to me. 

So here's the basic layout of Essence Fest

During the day there are tons of booths and stages set up in the covention center with celebrity interviews, free products, performances, VIP movie screenings, beauty, cooking, and style demos and food. This is free and open to the public, so you high key don't have to buy tickets to the night time shows if you don't want to. #SaveYourCoins

The bigger performers (e.g. Dianna Ross, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Solange, Chance the Rapper, Mary J. Blige, etc) perform on the main stage in the SuperDome at night.

There are smaller rooms in the Super Dome called "Super Lounges" that host smaller up and coming artists like GoldLink, Chloe X Halle, June's Diary, Jhene Aiko, Elle Varner, and Xscape (who really should have been on the main stage!!!!). The Super Lounges are set up like music halls so there are no seats. It's more of a standing room only type of venue. If you get there early enough, you can see your faves up close and personal.

Been rockin with this one since '07

Been rockin with this one since '07

Tips for getting the most out of Essence Fest

1. Plan, Plan, PlanI cannot stress this enough. If you want to go to Essence, you have to commit. Affordable hotels go fast. After a certain date (about mid April) most hotel reservations have to be paid in full and are NON REFUNDABLE, so make sure you work this trip into your budget early on. 

Also, make sure you read the fine print at these hotels. I lowkey slipped up and didn't read the full confirmation email, so ya girl had to pay $40/night for valet parking because the hotel didn't have it's own parking deck.

2. Read the schedule and know which performers are performing on what stages-  There were ALOT of performers. I made the mistake of just taking note of which performers I wanted to see instead of also taking note of which stages they would be on.

Alot of the artists I wanted to see were on the FREE stages during the day, and I paid for floor seats at night thinking they'd be there. Now don't get it twisted paying for floor seats was definitely the move to see the bigger artits like John Legend and, Solange, but I lowkey should have just paid for one of the 3 nights.

Daytime performances are free and open to the public, so don't feel pressed to buy tickets to the concerts at night if you're not that crazy about who's performing. 

 

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3.  Get to the Convention Center early- By noon the convention center is packed!!! The daytime events are open to the public so everybody and they mama comes out. I didn't make it to alot of booths because of the lines. They were just too long. Had we gotten there a little bit earlier, I feel like we would have been fine. 

4. Get out and have fun- I was moving all weekend. I only came back to the room to sleep. There's so much to do and see, so don't waste your time in the room. Also make sure you get out and see New Orleans.

 

Judy Oranika