The star-studded virtual daytime and nighttime lineup of performers set to impress fans during the 2021 Essence Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola has been announced. The two-weekend-long event kicks off in New Orleans from June 25 to 27, with continued festivities the following weekend, July 2 to 4.
This year’s event is exclusively open to Louisiana residents for in-person attendance. For all non-Louisiana residents hoping to join the fun, the festival will be available for streaming at EssenceStudios.com and Essence.com.
For the first time in Essence Fest history, a live Verzuz battle will be hosted Thursday, July 1, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET; the guests who will face off will soon be announced.
Weekend-long, fun-filled virtual programming will include daytime interactive sessions and evening concerts. Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Amerie, Tank, Kirk Franklin, Davido, Lucky Daye, Carl Thomas, D-Nice and more have been announced as part of the lineup of fan-favorite acts slated to perform.
The list of artists to appear during interactive sessions includes: Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Michelle Williams, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart and more.
Beginning July 1, a number of summits, presentations and competitions with cash prizes will take place, including the Essence Dear Black Men Summit, PITCH, Please! New Voices Pitch Competition, Coca-Cola Juke Joint Kick Off with D-Nice, ESSENCE Beauty Carnival and the Wealth & Power Virtual Town Hall.
The 2021 Essence Festival of Culture will include virtual experiences for the second consecutive year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To help prevent the spread of the virus, in-person activations — set to honor essential workers and first responders who remain on the frontlines amid the ongoing health crisis — will be accessible only to Louisiana residents.
See below for the official evening concert lineup scheduled for Saturday, June 26, and the following Saturday, July 3.
Week 1: June 26
Week 2: July 3
D-Nice, Ne-Yo and Amerie
DJ Khaled and Friends