Founded in 1995, Essence Fest is one of the largest festivals in the country, drawing 530,000 attendees to New Orleans annually over the first weekend in July. From comedy performances to live music to vendors, Essence Fest offers a celebration of all things black and beautiful. Started by Essence Magazine, the festival is about uplifting, informing, and mobilizing multigenerational black women, and this year’s festival line up is looking pretty influential.
Here are the 2022 headliners for Essence Fest.
Kevin Hart is one of the biggest names in comedy right now, selling out arenas and starring in movies alongside A-list actors, like the Rock and Bryan Cranston. The comedian will be kicking the festival off with a stand-up performance on June 30. Catch his set at the Caesars Superdome.
The reigning queen of hip hop is making her Essence Fest debut. The Trinidadian-born rapper has been topping charts since 2010 with hits like “Super Bass” and “Bang Bang”. She’ll be performing at the Caesars Superdome on July 1.
Janet Jackson is returning to the Essence stage for the third time. She performed at the festival in both 2010 and 2018. Expect to hear hits like “Escapade”, “Nasty”, and “Control”. Jackson will take to the Caesars Superdome stage on July 2.
R&B group New Edition were huge in the 1980s with hits like “Candy Girl”, “Can You Stand the Rain”, and “Cool it Now”. Original members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant chose their name because they thought of themselves as a “new edition” of the Jackson 5. The group is set to perform at Caesars Superdome on July 3.
Here’s a list of the other acts performing at Essence Fest:
- The Roots & Friends
- Jazmine Sullivan
- The Isley Brothers
- Summer Walker
- D-Nice & Friends