Essencefest and 10 things you need to know

Hey Everyone! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and you’re off to a great work week. I had the time of my life this past weekend in NOLA at the 25th Anniversary of the Essence festival. I had the pleasure of going with a group of ladies who were there for the first time also so none of us knew what to expect. It also helps when you go with patient, easy going, like minded people who go with the flow and believe in compromise.

The crew

While I was there I learned that not everyone in New Orleans go to partake in Essencefest activities. Some people go to attend other events like brunches, luncheons, day parties, night parties, you name it they had it. Along with the events came the heat and humidity. It was like a sauna out there with temps in the mid 90’s. I know what you’re thinking I should be use to that because I live in Houston. Well I’m not because I don’t do half as much walking here that I did there. On the first day I walked 19,000 plus steps. Where they do that at? But I digress….

My friends and I went to the convention center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to see the celebrities, get some freebies from sponsors and check out the vendors. We also went to the concerts on the Main stage at the Convention Center on Friday and Saturday where we saw Estelle and friends which included a whole Soca and Reggae set, RBRM (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike of New Edition), Missy Elliot, Monica, my forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama interviewed by Gayle King, Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige.

Aisha and I at the Missy Elliott concert
Mary J. Blige

The first concert was very unorganized, had long intermission breaks which included commercials and Loni Love who wasn’t the best host. She usually is very entertaining but she didn’t transition well when introducing each segment and she wasn’t able to stall and capture the audiences attention when Missy Elliot didn’t come on at the time she was suppose to. So they eventually had DJ D-Nice play music to get the crowd hype instead.

Overall, my first experience was Phenomenal! However, here are a few quick tips I wanted to share with you about Essencefest.

10. Just because neon green is the color for the summer and they make it in your size doesn’t mean you should buy it or wear it. I saw more hot mess lime green outfits than I care to see for the rest of my life.

When neon green goes wrong

9. This one is for the ladies. Wear a bra, preferably the right size bra. I saw more areolas than a Radiologist technician who does Mammograms on a daily basis. Please keep your areolas to yourself and those who want to see them.

8. Wear deodorant daily. Nobody wants to smell you on a hot summer day.

7. Wear comfortable shoes. It’s nothing like seeing women after a concert walking on the dirty floor or the nasty streets with no shoes on their feet.

6. If you see a celebrity don’t expect them to take a picture with you. They’re human and sometimes don’t want to be bumrushed. Talk to them and humbly ask them to take a picture with them. And if they say No, don’t get mad. Wish them well and go about your business.

Ava DuVernay, Niecey Nash and I

5. Don’t overbook yourself with things to do when you go to Essencefest. Just make a few plans, be flexible and open to do different things within reason.

4. Take enough money because you never know what merchandise you may want to purchase, food and drinks you want to consume or events you may want to attend.

Enjoying a Cocktail at Willie’s

3. Go with people who share the same interests as you to avoid conflict and issues.

2. Pack your patience. Every line, every where was looonnngggg!!

1. Enjoy yourself and make memories. Memories are PRICELESS and can never be taken away from you like material things.

If you keep these quick tips in mind you too can have an Epic experience next year at Essence festival. Until next time….

The crew with Lisa Wu

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