attend-essence-fest_400x295_33Each year, the Essence Festival in New Orleans draws a crowd of over 450,000 and for 2016 and 2017, the multi day entertainment, empowerment and cultural event is going International!

Heading straight for Durban, South Africa, Essence Festival Durban will follow the format of its annual New Orleans counterpart; presenting international performers and speakers to entertain and inspire, as well as a host of local artists and experts.

“We are delighted to partner with the vibrant city of Durban to launch the Essence Festival globally in South Africa,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “Hosting our first international Essence Festival in Durban purposefully extends our mission to convene the diaspora around shared aspirations.”

Durban Mayor James Nxumalo said the city of Durban had made waves in the past two years by hosting a number of high-profile events, which will now include the Essence Festival to further cement Durban as a choice international destination. Nxumalo added that the Essence partnership would continue to focus on the development of women and youth in business. A number of women-owned businesses will be selected to trade at the Festival which will boost their profile and drive sales for the company.

“This partnership will have a host of benefits for residents starting with the Durban Business Fair (DBF) program which strives to connect local businesses globally. The Fair is taking place simultaneously with the Essence Festival launch announcement,” he said.

“For more than 20 years, the Essence Festival has brought thousands of people together in New Orleans from near and far to celebrate a world-class event,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City of New Orleans. “I am thrilled that this festival is now expanding internationally to Durban, South Africa. The people of New Orleans know first-hand that the Essence Festival has not only enhanced our cultural economy, but it has also made a meaningful impact across the community through service and personal empowerment.”

If you haven’t made it down to NOLA yet for ESSENCE, what are you waiting for? The dates for 2016 have already been set. Get your tickets/hotel packages early here.

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