The Coronavirus took the world by storm in January of this year, causing the closing of restaurants and business as well as the cancellation of several major events. Among these events is the beloved Essence Fest.
Each year, Essence magazine hosts a festival in New Orleans that features amazing musical artists and a plethora of vendors that sell everything from handbags to hair products.
Initially, Essence had plans to simply reschedule the event from July to sometime later in the fall, but has now made the decision to cancel it altogether and resume a regular schedule in the summer of 2021.
The decision was made after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recommended that “no large events take place in New Orleans in 2020.” They plan to honor all tickets purchased for the 2020 festival in 2021 and will offer full refunds as well.
In lieu of the festival this year, the company announced that its new streaming platform will host the Essence Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition. In this virtual festival, viewers will be able to enjoy “interactive, live opportunities to be inspired, empowered, entertained, and transformed.”
Essence has also launched a benefit series that will raise money to provide support for businesses and organizations in the Black community that has fallen on hard times because of COVID-19.
The experiences that are part of the benefit series are scheduled to begin April 24th and the complete virtual festival will be hosted on July Fourth weekend.