Essence President [Michelle Ebanks]
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back.”
NEW ORLEANS– Not only does the ‘Essence Music Festival’ provide an extreme economic boost for the city of New Orleans, but its safe to say that the annual festival has also become a “girls getaway” for women across the world. It’s a place where African American women are celebrated, admired, empowered, and FREE to be themselves in totality. And in an era where “authencity” isn’t celebrated as much, it’s refreshing to see women being comfortable in their own skin.
The weekend’s trending hashtag [#WokeWonderland] was an exact replica of what was in store for the hundreds of attendees who were awakened by the parenting tips that actor Boris Kodjoe gave during his center stage interview, awakened with joy & laughter felt when dancing with actress Demetria McKinney at the McDonald’s activation, awakened by the humbleness, love and words of inspiration given by legendary actress Bern Nadette Stanis [“Thelma” on Good Times] who had her own vending booth, or awakened by Mary J Blige who laid EVERYTHING out on the stage during her night-time performance.
The caliber of talent, New Orleans cultural atmosphere, and parting thoughts further proves that ESSENCE music festival isn’t your typical gathering.
Sponsors included: Coca-Cola, Ford, AT&T, State Farm, Walmart, and McDonald’s whose activations were like none other we’d ever seen. They included stages, glow in the dark elements, photo-booths, etc…. After speaking with several people, they LOVED that Coca-Cola allowed them to custom design their own drink label. Cool Right?!
It was honestly a unique experience for MOST who vowed to return next year, and many more years to come.
A MAJOR congratulations to Essence President Michelle Ebanks for showing African American how to be fearless and own their excellence.
Check out exclusive photos captured by Mike Ware from the festival. For more of Mike’s work [CLICK HERE]
Opening Day Press Conference
Press Room Photos
Sponsor Activations/Center Stage
For complete video coverage: CLICK HERE