An Expanded Experience at The ESSENCE Festival?

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2016)

There is more to experience at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival® as the popular cultural festival expands its free Daytime Experience “featuring dozens of presentations focused on topics from owning your beauty to starting a business, to seeing your favorite celebrities and TV shows or learning about issues of importance in the presidential election,” shared ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.

The ESSENCE Festival® daytime experience will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 1–3. Download the 2016 ESSENCE Festival® app for updates and to customize a schedule of festival highlights, which include:

ESSENCE Beauty & Style. Tutorials and seminars with celebrity beauty experts and icons, and fashion presentations with style trendsetters, complimentary style consultations, mini makeovers, giveaways and more with partners ESSENCE BeautyBox, Cantu, Carol’s Daughter, Crème of Nature, Dark and Lovely, Mizani, My Black Is Beautiful and Walmart, the Official Beauty Expo Retail Partner.

ESSENCE Entrepreneurship, Money & Power. Leap.Run.Grow. entrepreneurship curriculum in partnership with the Minority Business Development Agency, pitch competitions, financial empowerment seminars, tech talk keynotes and a career and recruitment experience with partners Alabama Power, NASA, the National Urban League, Prudential, Sam’s Club, State Farm, the U.S. Mint, Walmart, the U.S. Army, Time Inc. and Code 20/40.hero_051016_b expanded

ESSENCE Entertainment All Access. An exclusive first look at the hottest movies and TV shows and participation in cast talk-backs and appearances at Center Stage, the Fan Zone and the Screening Room with partners Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney Studios, FOX, HBO, Starz, OWN, WGN America, Fox Searchlight and Bentonville Film Festival, as well as the premiere of the latest episode of ESSENCE’s Black Girl Magic, sponsored by Walmart.
ESSENCE Empowerment Experience. Keynotes and panels featuring today’s most prominent leaders, influencers and authors, such as Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Iyanla Vanzant and Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as a Mayor’s Panel, covering topics from income inequality to the Black women’s vote and the presidential election with partners Prudential and The Real.
ESSENCE Lifestyle Experience. ESSENCE’s lifestyle editors and industry experts showcase the best in health and wellness and encourage living a healthier and happier life with partners AARP; the City of New Orleans; Colgate; Durban, South Africa; and the State of Louisiana.
ESSENCE Inspiration (All-Star Gospel Tribute). Inspirational performances by top gospel artists, including Yolanda Adams and Kierra Sheard in tribute to The Clark Sisters with partner Walmart.
ESSENCE Eats. A taste of local cuisine, fellowship and celebrity chefs preparing their specialty dishes with partners Durban, South Africa; Walmart and Gold Peak.
ESSENCE Career Connection Recruitment Fair. Workplace skills and insights from career experts in partnership with the National Urban League, Time Inc. and the U.S. Army.
ESSENCE Day Parties. Party series featuring the hottest DJs and special celebrity guests with Everyday People and partners Starz and The Real.

In addition, the Shops at ESSENCE Marketplace and ESSENCE Community Corner will host more than 200 fine art exhibits and nonprofit organizations. Also taking place throughout the weekend will be brand-sponsored events and engagements that include:

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke and a Song
Coca-Cola invites you to Share a Coke and a Song with us at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival®! Come celebrate at the Coca-Cola Block Party for memorable moments of music, fashion, fun and ice cold Coca-Cola with celeb guest speakers and singers. Friday to Sunday. Check out for updates. Click here for full schedule.

Ford: Ford’s Family Affair at Festival
Join the Ford Family Reunion booth at the Festival. Enjoy DJ battles and live celebrity appearances, and test drive the Ford family of vehicles. Stop by to register for a chance to win a 2017 Ford Fusion.* Click here for full schedule.

* No purchase necessary. Must be 21 years of age or older. Sweepstakes ends 7/3/16.

McDonald’s: Everyday Beautiful, Everyday You
Ladies, the McDonald’s booth is the hottest place this summer! Join us for free concerts, amazing meet and greets and interactive activities. Don’t miss out on an event that promises to be as fierce as you. Download the new McDonald’s app today! Click here for full schedule.

State Farm: Color Full Lives
State Farm is celebrating the Color Full Lives of women at the ESSENCE Festival! Talk with a State Farm agent at our booth about your financial future. Click here for full schedule.

Verizon: More Festival Access Is Better
Join us at the only festival booth dedicated to keeping you connected to everything you love. Enjoy the latest in music and technology, plus access to your favorite celebrities, complimentary biometric charging and more. Courtesy of the Better Network. Click here for full schedule.

Walmart Gives You More. Every day.
Walmart gives you easy options for shopping for your freshest favorites and go-to must-haves. From Walmart Pay to, you can get more of what you want when you want it, and all at low prices you can trust. Every day. Click here for full schedule.

Join the ESSENCE Festival community: Follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2016 ESSENCE Festival® on Facebook.2016 Essence Festival Logo

The 2016 ESSENCE Festival® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2016 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience.

Exclusive sponsors of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm, Verizon and Walmart. Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford and Walmart. The All-Star Gospel Tribute is sponsored by Walmart.

Take a Look at Expanded Daytime Experience at 2016 ESSENCE Festival®