Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Miguel And More Headline the 2018 Essence Festival

Janet Jackson and newly minted Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige are among the headliners announced for the 2018 Essence Festival. The festival returns to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans July 5-8.

The initial performance lineup also includes a headline set featuring Erykah Badu and Jill Scott with Snoop Dogg and other guests in a special curation by The Roots. Rounding out the first wave of announced headliners are Miguel, Fantasia and Xscape. Also scheduled to perform: Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Kelela, Ro James, DVSN, 112, Mali Music, Kevin Ross, Marsha Ambrosius  and Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Experience featuring Wreckx-n-Effect, BlackStreet and Guy.

More than 40 acts will appear between the Mainstage and the four Superlounges stationed inside the Superdome. Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks. The Mainstage host is Roy Wood Jr.

For the first time, the Essence Festival will present a DJ-curated experience featuring sets by actor/DJ Idris Elba, MC Lyte and more. In another first, podcast The Read’s Kid Fury and Crissle will host an interactive music experience.

“In 2018 women are at the forefront of a seismic shift reverberating across the cultural landscape,” said Essence Communications president Michelle Ebanks in a press release announcing the lineup. “This movement comes to life for our community at the Essence Festival.”

The 2018 Essence Festival is presented by Coca-Cola; State Farm is a major sponsor. The talent lineup thus far, ticket information and additional festival news are available at EssenceFestival.com.