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Essence Fest of Culture cancels festival’s live experience until 2021


Essence Communications, Inc.This year’s Essence Festival of Culture has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite previously announcing they would postpone the annual fest for a date “closer to the fall,” Essence Communications announced on Wednesday that their live event will now take place in 2021.

“New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell bravely recommended yesterday that no large events take place in New Orleans in 2020, and ESSENCE fully supports that decision,” Essence said in a statement.

“After continued monitoring of the evolving developments in the COVID-19 global pandemic and remaining in close contact and collaboration with our partners in the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana, we are confirming today that we will no longer move forward with the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture live experience — and look forward to returning to New Orleans in 2021.” 

In its place, Essence has launched the Essence Benefit Series to Fight COVID-19, which will help raise money and “provide support for businesses and organizations in black communities across the country.”

The communications company also unveiled the ESSENCE Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition, a virtual event hosted on Essence’s new streaming platform. The event, to take place during 4th of July weekend, will  be a benefit celebration to support the City of New Orleans.

As previously reported, this year’s Essence Fest was to be hosted by comedian Loni Love and include powerhouse headliners such as Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars. It also celebrated Essence’s 50th anniversary as a magazine.

Essence promises that they will honor all tickets sold for the 2020 Festival in 2021 and will also offer full refunds.  A date for the 2021 Essence Festival of Culture has yet to be announced.

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