Mary J. Blige and Pepsi proudly announce the second annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in partnership with Live Nation Urban. The festival returns to the vibrant city of Atlanta, GA with four days devoted to music, comedy, female empowerment and community building between May 11th -14th, 2023. Presale tickets go live TODAY at NOON ET with code SOAW23, while general on-sale begins Friday, March 10th at 10AM ET. For tickets, visit: www.soawfestival.com.
Created and curated by Grammy-award-winning R&B songstress Mary J. Blige, Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit is the only festival experience in the market brought to you exclusively by an all-Black, female team and will return this spring to the hotbed for creativity and culture, Atlanta, GA. After selling out in less than 72 hours last year, the festival continues to bring what are sure to be iconic moments back to the State Farm Arena with two incredible nights of music: the #HipHop50 celebration featuring rarely-performed hits by Mary J. Blige and friends in a special” MJB B-Sides” set; and a special R&B night with performances by the legendary Lauryn Hill, Summer Walker, Lucky Daye, Muni Long, and more.
This year’s festival is a clear “leveling-up” with an expanded footprint in the city and its programming, aiming to create even more opportunities for women and underrepresented groups to find community and joy. New to the festival this year is a special live music event with Grammy-Award winner Robert Glasper along with the Sunday night closing event–PURPOSE BALL, powered by Gilead, produced by Miss Lawrence and featuring a special performance from Saucy Santana. The PURPOSE BALL was created after connecting with friends and partners in the LGBTQAI community around how the festival could celebrate and honor their impact on popular culture—especially in Atlanta. After an extremely successful launch in 2022, and the overwhelming feedback from attendees, the female-led team are set to deliver bigger, better and more impactful programming for 2023 with support from returning and new partners this year including Mielle Organics, CVS Health and Twitch.
As a 9x Grammy Award-Winning Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Producer, Philanthropist & Global Superstar, Mary J. Blige has committed the majority of her career to amplify, empower, and give voice to BIPOC women through the art of music and truth-telling. This multi-touchpoint festival, which focuses on Music, Wellness, Tech, Beauty, and Financial Literacy is the evolution of her life’s mission and purpose.
“ I’m so excited to bring our Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit back to Atlanta for its second year, ” said Mary J. Blige, Founder of Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit. “Having the opportunity to continue to uplift, inspire, and build amongst a community of women is the reason why we created this festival. I’m so grateful for all of the support from our performers and participants and of course Live Nation Urban, Pepsi and our additional partners who are committed to celebrating and creating community for Black women.”
The Strength of a Woman festival is engaging with women more than ever before and returns as the go-to destination for inspiring programming, pivotal panels, musical performances, workshops, and much more! Following the success of its debut last year, Blige, and her partners Nicole Jackson, Vice President of MJB Inc., and Marketing Maven Ashaunna Ayars of The Ayars Agency will return this May with initiatives that further empower women of the BIPOC community. The festival is dedicated to curating a safe haven for women, led and assembled by women from production to performances that sustain the festival’s inaugural blueprint.
Jackson, Mary’s long-time business partner, shared “ the popularity and impact of the inaugural Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit successfully showed how and why Black women are the blueprint for cultural relevancy and inclusion. Being able to look back and see the global reach the festival had through our livestream and billions of media impressions is confirmation that we are filling a void in the festival space. Mary, Ashaunna and myself are overjoyed to be back in Atlanta again and look forward to continued expansion in our programming and partnerships.”
Presented by Pepsi, the festival’s inaugural partner returns to support Blige and her impactful work on and off the stage in a shared mission to inspire the next generation of women. For the second annual festival, Pepsi will once again bring its powerful platform to the production and event experience as it activates throughout the festival grounds, including amplifying the musical experience for fans, elevating local women-led businesses, and more to engage the Atlanta community across the festival and summit.
“The Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit is a testament to the power of amplifying Black women and their voices – starting with Mary, someone whose vision and presence has been instrumental in its success. As a brand and company rooted in celebrating culture and uplifting communities, we are thrilled to show our support and continue to provide new ways to elevate the festival experience for guests throughout the expanded weekend of activities, all while highlighting and supporting the remarkable women of the Atlanta community,” said Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, PepsiCo Industry Relations and Multicultural Development
Blige and continued partners chose to return to Atlanta for the second annual event given its reputation as the mecca for young Black creatives and entrepreneurs. The festival is proud to partner with dozens of local, minority, and female-owned businesses and vendors to help cultivate the best experience for attendees. The love for Atlanta is reflected not only in the festival’s investment into the local entrepreneurial community but also in the performers and hosts for the various events taking place over the weekend.
Join Strength of a Woman in Atlanta on the following dates this spring:
Thursday, May 11th
- Robert Glasper at City Winery
Friday, May 12th
- Concert: Mary J. Blige & Friends with a special “MJB B-Sides” set celebrating Hip Hop 50th Celebration at State Farm Arena
- Special performances by Jodeci, Jeezy, DJ Drama and more
- Hosted by Kenny Burns
Saturday, May 13th
- Strength of a Woman Summit at America’s Mart
- Participants and Programming details forthcoming
- Concert: R&B Night at State Farm Arena
- Performances by Lauryn Hill, Summer Walker, Muni Long, Lucky Daye, and Coco Jones
- Hosted by Kenny Burns
Sunday, May 14th
- Gospel Brunch and Concert at The Bank
- Performance by Sunday Service Collective
- Hosted by Ryan Cameron
- The Purpose Ball at The Bank powered by Gilead
- Produced by Miss Lawrence
- Performance by Saucy Santana
- Comedy Night Show at Tabernacle
- Headliner: Mike Epps
- Additional Sets by Don’t Call me White Girl, Henry Welch and Navv Greene
- Hosted by Erica Duchess