Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson to Headline Essence Fest

NEW YORK – Grammy-winning artists Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson will be the headliners for the 2020 Essence Festival July 1-5 in downtown New Orleans.

The annual event attracts more than 500,000 visitors and has an economic impact of about $280 million. The money is spent on event production, lodging, food and beverage, retail, gaming and transportation.

The original Essence Music Festival in 1995 – then produced by the creators of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – was intended to be a one-time celebration of the 25th anniversary of Essence, a monthly lifestyle magazine targeting African American women. The event was a huge success and for years has been an anchor for the busiest summer weekend in New Orleans. This year’s event will be expanded from three days to five. The move will likely mean more tourism dollars spent in the city.

“In this celebration year, Essence could not be more excited to welcome Bruno Mars for the first time and to have Janet Jackson return to headline the mainstage during the 2020 Essence Festival of Culture,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications Inc. “These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence and dynamic experiences that excite, elevate and inspire.”

The current producer of the event is the Solomon Group, the New Orleans-based events company that’s worked on everything from Voodoo Fest to the National World War II Museum and the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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