ESSENCE Festival has officially been canceled for 2020.
The news comes after New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s recommendation that big events, including Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest, and Essence Festival, be postponed to 2021 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Cantrell confirmed that she’s been in talks with coordinators of those large events and says there’s more that will come about in the future.
She added that it is not only New Orleans and Louisiana to consider, but also tourists from neighboring states and around the country.
So far, Jazz Fest is postponed until Fall and French Quarter Fest has postponed until October – but all this could change in light of the mayor’s recent recommendation.
Organizers with the ESSENCE festival released the following statement:
“After continued monitoring of the evolving developments in the COVID-19 global pandemic and remaining in close contact and collaboration with our partners in the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, we are confirming today that we will no longer move forward with the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture live experience – and look forward to returning to New Orleans in 2021.”
“We are confirming today that we will no longer move forward with the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture live experience – and look forward to returning to New Orleans in 2021.” #EssenceFest https://t.co/4GIuk3aYaV— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) April 15, 2020
Recently, New Orleans and Louisiana officials have come under intense scrutiny as the number of coronavirus cases increases throughout the region.
The mayor of New Orleans told CBS News that she would have canceled the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations in February if the federal government had been clearer about the dangers posed by the novel coronavirus.
The coronavirus is reportedly killing residents in southeast Louisiana at higher rates than in other parts of the U.S., a new analysis shows.
Helping New Orleans and Surrounding Communities
In the meantime, ESSENCE is helping with relief efforts. Organizers have announced that the new ESSENCE Studios streaming platform will host the first-ever ESSENCE Festival of Culture: The Virtual Edition over July 4th weekend as a multi-day experience and benefit celebration.
“This Festival experience will be extended to communities around the world like never before, with unfettered access to the power, purpose, and party that has made the ESSENCE Festival the largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience in the world,” a statement reads. “Women across the globe and their families will engage in interactive, live opportunities to be inspired, empowered, entertained and transformed as they enter a new economic, spiritual and wellness journey ahead.”