I spent the 4th of July weekend at Essence Fest 2015. As a first timer, it was an amazing experience. So amazing that it took me almost 2 weeks to recover, part of the reason I’m just getting to this post 🙂 Although the experience was great I learned a few things a long the way that I wanted to pass on to anyone who might be going to future Essence Fests for the first time. Here are 5 Tips for A Great Essence Fest experience.
1) BE PREPARED FOR THE CROWD
Oh my! I knew Essence Fest was a big deal but I was not prepared for the crowds lol. As you can see from the picture above, people kept photo bombing my “Essence” picture. 🙂
I arrived in New Orleans on Friday morning and took a stroll (at least I tried) down Bourbon street on Friday night. There were people EVERYWHERE. If you’re visiting New Orleans or going to Essence fest for the first time, bring a backpack or cross body bag to carry your items.
2) PACK LIGHT BUT BRING AN EXTRA BAG
You would think the “pack light” part goes without saying, right? As a chronic over packer I felt proud that I was *only” taking one piece of luggage and one carry one bag. Obviously I didn’t need half of the stuff I packed. However, I was smart enough to pack an extra duffle bag to carry all the swag & extra stuff that I was gifted and collected over the weekend.
Pictured with Ledisi at the Design Essentials Event. I won a cross body leather bag from GregorySylvia.
3) MAKE A SCHEDULE (before you arrive, if possible)
Prior to leaving for New Orleans there were a few events that I was invited to, and a few others that I planned on attending, like the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo. Once I got there, I realize that there were so many other events happening that I wanted to squeeze in. Between the Pop Up shops, brand events and Free Essence events, I just didn’t have the time to make it them all.
TIP: Before you leave home, download the Essence Fest App to plan out which official events you’d like to attend.
Snapshots from the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo
From Top to Bottom & Left to Right: IG friend @MissAlexandriaNicole | My peeps for @NaturallySupreme | Carols Daughter Founder, Lisa Price | Blogger Friend, Jay from relaxedthairapy.com
4) BRING FLATS (ALSO)
In all my over packing, I did remember to pack a few flats & sandals along with my wedges and *cough* heels.
I had the awesome opportunity to partner with My Black is Beautiful in their social media newsroom to interview celebrities and influencers for the #AllTogetherBeautiful campaign. I wore wedges for most of the day, but between walking around and through the convention center, my feet were killing me. My flats saved me.
You’ll be doing A LOT of walking and standing in a long lines, so dress comfortably because New Orleans is hot and HUMID, and bring flats.
Watch some of the interview snippets HERE5) ARRIVE EARLY, LEAVE LATE
With two of my roommates for the weekend: HoneybeNatural & The Natural Cole.
By the time I arrived in New Orleans on Friday morning, Essence Fest was already underway. I did make the decision to attend Essence Fest slightly late, so next time I’ll definitely plan in advance.
If you intend to get the most of the your experience, and see some of New Orleans (which I wanted to do) you need to arrive a few days early. Also the final Essence Fest concert happens on Sunday night, so if you plan to attend the concerts, keep that in mind.
YOUR TURN: Have you ever been to Essence Fest? Tell me about your experience in the comments.