Essence Festival 2015 May Be the Best Way to Spend Your 4th of July Weekend

Essence Festival 2015 May Be the Best Way to Spend Your 4th of July Weekend
Josh Brasted

We've been waiting an entire year for one of our favorite events to make its glorious return to New Orleans. If you're a fan of R&B, hip-hop, or soul music, the Essence Festival is the place to be this Fourth of July Weekend. With over 40 acts lined up across 5 stages in the Superdome arena and more than 550,000 expected participants, the fête is guaranteed to be bigger than ever. There's tons of jam-packed performances from music's most-talented names, including Common, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, and Mary J. Blige.

Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

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The 11th-annual festival will also hold seminars geared to empowering all who attend—and even more exciting, both the Essence Empowerment Experience and Empower U presentations are absolutely free. Guest speakers include Deepak Chopra, and even one of our favorite stars from Empire, Jussie Smollett, who will host a discussion Friday evening.

Hannah Selah

Another highlight: Essence Fest's inspiring street style. New Orleans is known for it's own rich culture, so the city's a natural backdrop for any picture posing fashionista. The resulting fashion-forward trends are unlike those you'll see anywhere else.

Not able to make it there yourself? Essence magazine plans to stream over 100 hours of content during the four-day  festivities, so there's no need to feel left out. Stay in the know with the Essence Festival app and head over to Essence's website to learn more.

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