2015 ESSENCE Festival® Hosts Free, All-Star Daytime Experience: Join Kelly Rowland, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Trey Songz, Common, Mary J. Blige, Keke Palmer, Terrence J And More For Consumer Activations Hosted By Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald's, My Black Is Beautiful, Samsung, State Farm, Verizon And Walmart

Jul 03, 2015, 12:49 ET from ESSENCE Magazine

NEW YORK, July 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The ESSENCE Festival® today announced an expanded, interactive daytime experience, free and open to the public at the 21st annual event in New Orleans, LA, July 2-5.  A rich slate of programming will appeal to a wide and diverse audience, including celebrity meet and greets, musical performances, panel discussions and workshops. 

Hailed by Advertising Age as the 'Super Bowl of Marketing to Black Women', the ESSENCE Festival® daytime experience will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.  Celebrating entertainment, culture, community and empowerment, the line-up includes:

  • ESSENCE Empowerment Experience: Keynotes and panels featuring today's biggest TV personalities and authors, such as Deepak Chopra, Steve Harvey, Iyanla Vanzant and Rev. Al Sharpton.
  • ESSENCE Empower U: Workshops hosted by top experts in personal finance, health, style and beauty such as Kandi Buruss, Melinda Emerson, Tonya Lewis Lee and many more with partners Alabama Power, Colgate, State Farm, U.S. Mint, Yes We Code and Walmart.
  • ESSENCE All-Star Gospel Tribute: Inspirational performances by top gospel artists including Kim Burrell, Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett and Smokie Norful.
  • ESSENCE Career Connection Recruitment Fair: Workplace skills and insights from career experts, in partnership with the National Urban League and Hospital Core of America, GE, Time Inc. and Verizon.
  • ESSENCE Social Scene Engagement: Sharing the Festival's exciting events and following the weekend's trending topics and #EssenceFest conversations.
  • ESSENCE Entertainment ALL ACCESS: Returns in 2015 offering Festival-goers an exclusive FIRST LOOK at the hottest movies, episodes of their favorite shows and participation in cast talk-backs in the ESSENCE® Screening Room with partners Bentonville Film Festival, FOX, Universal and WGN America.
  • ESSENCE Day Parties –Featuring the country's hottest DJs: Biz Markie, Spinderella, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Cassidy and DJ Drama with partners FOX, My Black is Beautiful and Walmart.

Plus, brand-sponsored events and engagements that include appearances by Kelly Rowland, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Trey Songz, Common, Mary J. Blige, Angela & Vanesa Simmons, Terrence J, Doug E. Fresh, 112, Sean Paul, Xscape:

    Coca-Cola® invites you to celebrate refreshing moments during the 2015 ESSENCE Festival®! Visit the Coca-Cola® booth to experience New Orleans cuisine prepared by celebrity chef, Chef Huda, heart-pumping fitness activities, celebrity guest appearances and a throwback block party, all while enjoying thirst quenching Coca-Cola. Click here for the full schedule.
  • My Black Is Beautiful
    Be sure to visit P&G's My Black is Beautiful booth for a weekend of empowerment complete with beauty makeovers, giveaways, and more. Join MBIB brands COVERGIRL®, Pantene®, and Olay® as we celebrate the ways Black women are All Together Beautiful! Click here for full schedule.
  • Verizon
    Join us in the Verizon Now Playing Superlounge at the Superdome for three days of amazing performances by the hottest in music and comedy. Also, be sure to stop by our booth for the latest in music and technology, celebrity appearances, a chance to win prizes and more. Click here for full schedule.
  • State Farm®
    Let the music move you to the State Farm® "Get In the Groove" booth for prizes that step up your swagger and celebrity sightings. Learn how to start making the right moves by attending the State Farm Empower U workshops for tips on how to help secure your financial future. Click here for the full schedule.
  • FORD®
    Experience Ford at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival® featuring the All-New Ford GT, celebrity appearances, vehicle test drives and a chance to win a new Ford vehicle of your choice!*  *Any Ford vehicle whose MSRP does not exceed $30,000. Click here for the full schedule.
    Visit the McDonald's® Booth for free concerts and McCafe® samples. Here's your chance to chill and kick it with the McDonald's crew!  Follow us @365Black. Click here for the full schedule.
    The Next Big Thing is Here—Visit the Samsung Galaxy Experience to explore the latest Samsung products and services, and for a chance to win prizes, including tickets to the Superdome concerts. Click here for the full schedule.
    We give you more to celebrate. Every day! Experience the best in Entertainment, Fresh Bites and Family Gatherings with low prices you can trust. #HappyToHelp. Click here for the full schedule.

Join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2015 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

The 2015 ESSENCE Festival® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI), and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2015 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience and Empower U.

Sponsors of the 2015 ESSENCE Festival® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald's, My Black Is Beautiful, Samsung, State Farm, Verizon, and Walmart.  Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford, Verizon and Walmart.  The All-Star Gospel Tribute is sponsored by Walmart.

ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online.  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE Festival®, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the ESSENCE Book Club, ESSENCE.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 13.4 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.