Hey guys! Since the Essence Fest is right around the corner I thought I would share my past experience with you guys. First off, I had an amazing time at the festival. It’s hard to put into context the vibe that was in New Orleans that weekend. I saw so many melanated beauties of all shapes, sizes, and ages living their best lives. So many different hairstyles, bold jewelry and vibrant color schemes from makeup to the outfits, etc. Oh, and I can’t forget about the amazing food! I had authentic Gumbo and Jambalaya for the first time and… BEIGNETS which were absolutely amazing!
We stayed at the Ace Hotel which I would highly recommend. They had celebrities staying there. They also have a club, a cafe, and a restaurant. Did I mention the Prince room? Yes, they have a room decorated with nothing but Prince décor which was amazing.
-Okay, so enough of all of that let’s dive right into what you can expect there:
-Expect a lot of walking - I suggest wearing some cute, but comfortable flats or if you insist on wearing heels make sure you pack some sandals tin your purse to change into.
-t’s an unreal type of heat in New Orleans - It is extremely humid. Maxi dresses, rompers, and light clothing will be your best friend. Make sure you bring an all-white outfit. There will most definitely be an all-white party to attend. Also, bring black clothes…there was an all-black party as well.
-Do not expect to see every single show, or private screening for television shows, or visit every single booth at the Convention Center - It just won’t happen. Try to pick what events and booths that have your favorite celebrity that you really want to see and go from there. The same goes for the shows at the Super Dome. There will be shows going on the Main Stage at the exact same time as another one of your favorite singers. Choose wisely lol. We missed some surprise guest performers because we were in the Super Lounge instead trying to see Idris Elba DJ. However, I got to see Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, Snoop Dog, Mary J Blige, Fantasia, Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, Brandy, Xscape, Ashanti, and Jill Scott to name a few. So, I was content.
-Don’t buy any food at the Convention Center - It is way too overpriced. If you drive there keep a cooler in your car and pack your food.
-Room Booking Tip - Try to book a hotel that is within walking distance from the Super Dome.
-Be careful where you stand or sit - Don’t make the mistake I did by being in the front row during those meet and greets and interview panels. I almost got seriously injured when the cast of “Power” came out and Dre and Tommy were handing out goodie bags. (I got my video with them though) The bag busted open because of the Stampede of women trying to take pictures with them. Listen, those women are ruthless out there do you hear me? Lol.
-Buy a quality portable charger - The only wall plugins were out in the hallway at the Convention Center. The same for the Superdome. There were some, but not many. You don’t want to be stuck to a wall and miss any shows. So definitely try to splurge on TWO if you can especially if you have an iPhone. We all know what the battery life is like on those.
-Download the Essence App – This will help you know about the exact time of an interview panel or show you would like to see. You will also get alerts about different activities which is really helpful.
-Eateries you must visit - Be sure to visit Cafe Du Monde and Morrows.
And last but not least have fun and enjoy the experience.