At this stage of the game, it seems that nothing will be spared when it comes to the effect of the coronavirus. ESSENCE magazine has announced that due to the coronavirus and at the recommendation of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, no large events will take place in New Orleans in 2020—the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has been canceled.
“ESSENCE and the City of New Orleans have a partnership that thrives in good times and is made even stronger in challenging times,” said Mayor Cantrell in a written statement. “We share an uncompromised commitment to the best interest of our local community and our tourist community, and the priorities right now are providing support to those who have been affected by the disproportionate impact of the pandemic here in New Orleans and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our great city in 2021 for the return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture and to once again helping to create such an unmatched and magical experience.”
The Festival of Culture”s live experience will return to the city next year. So this summer, the new ESSENCE Studios streaming platform will host the first-ever ESSENCE Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition as a replacement for the live experience. The streaming event will be held over the July Fourth weekend as a multiday experience and benefit celebration. This Festival experience will be extended to communities worldwide, with unfettered access to the power, purpose, and party that has made the ESSENCE Festival the largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience in the world. Women across the globe and their families can now participate in interactive, live opportunities to be inspired, empowered, entertained and transformed as they enter a new economic, spiritual, and wellness journey ahead.
ESSENCE will refund all tickets sold for the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture. Ticket holders should visit essencefestival.com for further information.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards shared his sentiments for the festival. “We greatly appreciate the ESSENCE family for working with the City of New Orleans and Louisiana as we face this ongoing public health crisis,” he said. “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the ESSENCE family and look forward to continuing the celebration in 2021.”