Essence Music Festival takes over New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend. The festival spans June 30 through July 3 bringing some big names to the city. If you're looking to enjoy festival events without splurging or killing your budget, you're in luck. We've mapped out a list of free activities at the festival that puts you in the action without big spending.
Visit These New Essence Expos
This year, the festival debuts two new free expo experiences:
The Beauty and Style Expo jam packs three days of hair and makeup tutorials, demonstrations by popular beauty bloggers, beauty tips and fashion shows. The schedule also boasts guest appearances by celebrity stylists like Kim Kimble, whose clients include Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige.
The Money and Power Expo provides workshops and discussions about entrepreneurship, finance, branding and marketing. The schedule features talks with several power players offering tips about various topics from budgeting to work-life balance.
Fan Out at Essence Centerstage & Fan Zone
Fan out at Essence Centerstage & Fan Zone, which features live celebrity interviews and performances from emerging R&B and international artists. The schedule lists interviews with stars such as Faith Evans, Ne-Yo, Tyrese, Mario, T. D. Jakes, Kelly Price and more.
Move & Groove with Fitness All-Stars
If you’re feeling active, each day at the Essence Centerstage opens and closes with workout sessions from fitness celebrities like Shaun T and Cheryl Lynn Jones. Lafayette native and singer Cupid is also on schedule to host “CuRobiks” line dance workouts.
Meet & Greet With Celebrities
Some of the sponsored booths at the festival offer even more opportunities to see celebrities up close and personal. Singer Tyrese is scheduled for a meet and greet session at the Coca-Cola booth on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Singer Chrisette Michele meets and greets fans at the McDonald’s booth on Sunday at 3 p.m. Check out the full schedule at each sponsored booth for more information.
Attend an Award Show Taping
Actors Amber Riley and Lance Gross will host the McDonald’s 365Black Awards, which honors several celebrities, philanthropists and entrepreneurs for their achievements. The show starts at noon at Hall J in the Ernst N. Morial Convention Center. Sign up at the below website to RSVP. Event organizers say they encourage upscale attire.
If you're staying in New Orleans for an extended staycation this holiday weekend, here are some tips to help you plan ideas.