In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Essence Fest: a ‘hybrid’ two-weekend virtual experience for 2021

Essence Fest will once again adapt to a mostly virtual format in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Organizers announced plans and dates for the 2021 Essence Festival of Culture. It will curate a “hybrid” virtual experience over two weekends this summer on June 25-27 and July 2-4.

Essence Fest

This year, Essence will expand on the virtual programming the festival produced in 2020. The festival’s virtual event will include “powerful daytime interactive sessions and star-studded evening concerts and connections,” organizers said in a release.

As part of the “hybrid” approach, the festival plans to host what seems to indicate a scaled-down version of taped performances. Only for a select group of local guests in New Orleans though.

“In continued partnership with the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana and under strict adherence to guidance from health agencies, ESSENCE will produce live-to-tape activations available only to local New Orleans and Louisiana residents, honoring essential workers and first responders,” Essence Fest announced.

Essence Fest boasts a “taste of New Orleans” and a “jam-packed schedule” of content centered around culture, equity and celebration. Witness the 2021 virtual Essence Fest streamed via

“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 2020, Essence Fest went virtual for the first time in the festival’s 26-year history. People watched more than 45 million full-stream views of festival content online, according to Essence.

For ongoing updates, including upcoming talent announcements, and additional information, visit

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