The annual Essence Festival of Culture, originally scheduled over the July 4th holiday in New Orleans, has been postponed to a date “closer to the fall” due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. An exact date has not been announced yet.
What We Know:
- Essence indicated it was considering identifying alternate dates for the festival, saying they “will be prepared to announce those shortly”.
“The Essence Festival of Culture is a beloved and highly anticipated time of year in the City of New Orleans. At the forefront of everything we do, public health and public safety are always our top priorities. With the significant spread of COVID-19, we are taking every precaution in the best interest of our residents, visitors and all who attend and make Essence the worldwide phenomenon that it is. We look forward to welcoming everyone back – from near and far – and express our deepest gratitude to all who are helping our city, state and nation get through this rapidly-evolving crisis.” – Mayor LaToya Cantrell
- An official statement said, “based on developments over the past couple of weeks, including updates from our city health partners, we are officially announcing that we will move the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture closer to the fall”.
- Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson were the booked headliners for the event. Janelle Monae, Summer Walker, Ari Lennox, Pattie LaBelle, Raphael Saadiq, Doug E. Fresh, Jidenna, Rapsody, Tank and more were also scheduled for the cultural event. Comedian, actress and talk show host Loni Love was set to emcee the event.
- There has been no word yet on whether the line-up will remain the same. However, it’s worth noting that the festival’s official page still features Jackson and Mars on their site (which has been updated with the Fall verbiage).
According to CNN, New Orleans is facing critical shortages of protective equipment and ventilators as positive cases continue to rise.