The Essence Festival, known as “the party with a purpose”, is an annual music festival which started in 1994 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed primarily towards African-American women. It is the largest event celebrating African-American culture and music in the United States. Locally referred to as the Essence Fest, it has been held in New Orleans, Louisiana every year since 1994 except for 2006, when it was held in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Katrina. It also held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in 2016. It features artists simultaneously performing on a main stage as well as four standing-room only superlounge stages.
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