We’re in the home stretch, as Essence Fest 2016 gears up to return to New Orleans with its cultural showcases, one-of-a-kind panel discussions and star-studded workshops on Thursday, June 30. Although performers won’t rip the mic until the next day, leaving three nights of powerful performances for festival-goers from Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, social media is already buzzing about the annual event’s epic lineup.
With performances split between a handful of venues within the Superdome: the Mainstage (ticketed seats) and the Superlounges (smaller event spaces offering standing-accommodation-only), there’s a little something for everyone. According to a release, Saturday’s bill includes a night of DJ sets in addition to performances by Wizkid and Lady Leshurr. Nephew Tommy of “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” is also set to reprise his role as Mainstage host.
Meanwhile, those looking for that “free 99” deal can take advantage of Essence Fest’s daytime events at the Convention Center, which are free and open to the public. In the meantime, see the day-to-day lineup below.
Friday, July 1
Mainstage – Maxwell, New Edition, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Tyrese, Faith Evans and Estelle.
Superlounge – Digable Planets, Daley, Eric Bellinger, Lion Babe, The Internet, Tweet, Estelle, Mali Music, V. Bozeman, Kelly Price, Zakes Bantwini and Sky Wanda.
Saturday, July 2
Mainstage – Mariah Carey, Charlie Wilson, Common and Jeremih.
Superlounge – Doug E. Fresh, Tink, Jidenna, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, St. Beauty, Lalah Hathaway, Judith Hill, Wizkid and Lady Leshurr.
Sunday, July 3
Mainstage – Kendrick Lamar, Puff Daddy & The Family, Ciara and Andra Day.
Superlounge – MC Lyte, Dej Loaf, Cyril Neville, Leon Bridges, Kehlani, New Breed Brass Band, Robert Glasper, BJ The Chicago Kid, The Brand New Heavies and Little Simz.
Three-day tickets to Essence Fest are on sale through TicketMaster starting at $136.50, plus applicable fees, a pop. Single day tickets are also available, beginning at $55, plus fees. Will you be attending Essence Fest 2016? Sound off in the comment section below.