I've been to Essence Festival before. Twice before actually. And I've never seen it like this. I don't even think the last time I went to Mardi Gras it was like this.
All thanks to the movie Girls Trip! BABY! When I tell you groups of girlfriends were out there in DROVES! It was too many people LOL. I became so introverted. I couldn't deal. There were too many people on Bourbon Street! I could NOT take it.
We drove. A friend of a friend drove the entire way there and back! She was a trooper! But I don't think I ever want to do that again! I'm just not built for long road trips. But kudos to her for pushing through!
Aside from not being able to
take part in witness any drunken foolery, I had a blast! We went to concerts each night and man oh man! I saw so many people that I probably wouldn't have otherwise spent money to see. There were lots of technical difficulties though. So next year, tighten up Essence, Super Dome, or whomever was responsible for the sound.
The first time we tried to go to the Convention Center we decided to leave because you could barely walk in there. Since we were leaving Monday, we went on Sunday morning and it wasn't too packed. But I think we missed out on a lot of good stuff since it was the last day.
I didn't eat anything super special because, wait times. Most of what we ate was quick stuff. Except when we ventured outside of the hot spots. I didn't record much of the concerts because I was trying to enjoy them! Take a look at the Essence site to see the lineups. There were tons of surprises! I was a little underwhelmed by Janet Jackson, because you could barely hear her singing. I was excited to finally make it to Creole Creamery after almost 10 years of hearing about them! Here is my trip through pictures.
This also marked 1 year that my hair has been loc'd! I'm hanging in there y'all and finally have a some hang time!
I'm debating on whether or not to try to get down there next year. It will be the 25th anniversary, so I'm sure the concerts and events will be insane. But just thinking about all the people. I need to be able to move like a celebrity! Maybe next year I will have some stamina and be able to "turn up" a little. If you have never been, I suggest you go! It is definitely an amazing experience. Just pack your patience! #fortheculture #notmuchisblackerthantheessencefest
Here are a few tips if you have never been:
- Bring your patience and/or anxiety meds.
- Wear flat shoes --too many people were walking barefoot on the DISGUSTING streets. Seriously. Don't wear heels. Nobody else does.
- Don't plan to move your car much if you drive there. The traffic is ridiculous. Most events happen in the French Quarter or are in walking distance. We walked from our hotel to the Super Dome for the concerts.
- Expect to pay around $50 a night for parking at your hotel.
- Bring more patience. The wait for everything is long.
- Go to Cafe' Du Monde and get beignets and chicory coffee.
- Go to the Convention Center. Free entry, lots of free goodies and free concerts.
- Buy your weekend tickets in advance. The tickets are already on sale for next year.
- Go with people you enjoy!
- Be prepared for astronomical hotel/air bnb prices.
- Have fun and enjoy the blackest event. Ever.