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Essence Festival to be hybrid, virtual in summer 2021

The annual festival that focuses on Black empowerment was all virtual in 2020 and it seems as if the event will be a hybrid this year.

NEW ORLEANS — The Essence Festival says it is moving to a two-weekend, hybrid event in 2021.

The annual festival celebrating Black empowerment that features major concert performers at night and empowerment and educational sessions during the day, is an annual boost to the economy during the Fourth of July weekend.

In 2020 the event was all virtual, but this year's event seems primed to have performances taped in New Orleans and broadcast during the virtual festival. Those concerts will adhere to whatever the guidelines are when the event occurs and limited to a small number of invited guests from Louisiana. 

"In continued partnership with the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana and under strict adherence to guidance from health agencies, ESSENCE will produce live-to-tape activations available only to local New Orleans and Louisiana residents, honoring essential workers and first responders," said a statement from event coordinators. 

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The virtual nature of the event and having concerts catering to a very limited, New Orleans-centric crowd, means yet another major tourist event that will not be bringing tens of thousands of tourists to the city.