Essence Announces Dates For 2016 Festival In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Next year's Essence Festival will heat up New Orleans' summer, beginning June 30.

         Organizers Wednesday announced the event's official dates: Thursday, June 30, through Sunday, July 3. Independence Day falls on a Monday in 2016.

         Essence has not yet announced any talent for the annual event held over the Fourth of July weekend, which draws more than 450,000 people to the city and has an economic impact of more than $200 million locally. Last year, the festival featured performances by Frankie Beverly and Maze, Charlie Wilson, India.Arie, Kem, Usher, Mary J. Blige and rappers Missy Elliott, Common and Kendrick Lamar.

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         Organizers last week announced a three-year partnership with eThekwini Municipality to host an expansion in Durban, South Africa, in 2016 and 2017. Exact dates will be announced soon.



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