Essence Fest staying in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Essence Festival will be returning to New Orleans for at least the next five years.

News outlets report New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday announced the contract extension to 2024. This year’s festival, the 25th overall, was the last under the previous extension.

The festival traditionally is held on the Fourth of July weekend and features empowerment sessions and musical performances, some by the biggest named artists. In 2020, Essence will stick to its traditional three nights of concerts in the Louisiana Superdome but will expand its daytime events throughout the city to five days, July 1-5.

Essence Communications Inc. CEO Michelle Ebanks says New Orleans is “our home” and there is “tremendous recognition of what this festival has meant to the community.”

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