Essence Fest 2022: Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart headline

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Essence Fest releases the first look at its talent lineup for the first in-person festival in two years at the Caesars Superdome from June 30 to July 3.

Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nicki Minaj and Kevin Hart are set to headline the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture four-night concert series, organizers announced Thursday.

This year’s lineup will also feature The Isley Brothers, The Roots & Friends, Jazmine Sullivan, Summer Walker, D-Nice & Friends, Chloe x Halle and others.

Essence Fest organizers say additional names and experiences to be announced soon.

The 27th ESSENCE Festival of Culture is scheduled to return from June 30 to July 3 with nightly concerts at Caesars Superdome, empowerment programming at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and other entertaining and inspirational activations in venues across New Orleans.

“As the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a staple that celebrates community and empowers equity. We are excited to welcome the family back live to New Orleans and thrilled to connect with more of our diasporic family through new digital experiences,” ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga said in a statement. “Whether it be those that have three years of outfits reflective of the Festival tradition that was disrupted by the pandemic, or those who will have their inaugural Festival experience in 2022 , all are invited to immerse in the crown jewel of culture known as the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.”

Organizers say the 2022 event will celebrate the culture and resilience of the Black community with the theme “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”

“Our almost three-decade-relationship with the City of New Orleans has been critical to the fiber of the Festival and we fully recognize and appreciate the City and its citizens for all they do to create memorable experiences for all attendees. Lastly, it is critical that we understand that what we deliver with this Festival—live and virtually—also impacts Black economic inclusion,” Wagna said.

Tickets are on sale now with early-bird three-day weekend packages starting at $150 via Ticketmaster.

For more information on tickets, access and updates on this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.