Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart and Janet Jackson to Headline ESSENCE Festival's Return to In-Person Show

The festival will take place from June 30 to July 3 at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans

Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart and Janet Jackson
Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson and Kevin Hart. Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage; Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV

ESSENCE Fest is back and it's shaping up to be a memorable weekend!

On Thursday, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture revealed its lineup for the occasion this summer — and it includes some of your favorite stars.

Headlining the four-day event will be Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson and New Edition. More performances include the Isley Brothers, the Roots and Friends, Summer Walker, Jazmine Sullivan, DJ D-Nice and Friends with additional acts set to be announced.

ESSENCE Festival is a celebration of global black culture that attracts more than 500,000 people each weekend.

The festival will run from June 30 to July 3 at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Over the past two years, the festival was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

By marking its return, however, the festival will hold seminars, presentations and a virtual marketplace during the celebration.

In 2019, the last festival held in-person had then-first lady Michelle Obama as a headliner to discuss her memoir Becoming. She joined hip-hop legends Mary J. Blige, Nas and Missy Elliott, along with H.E.R. and Teyana Taylor.

Meanwhile, in 2020, scheduled performers were Jackson, Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monáe, before it was canceled and converted to virtual.

"New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell bravely recommended yesterday that no large events take place in New Orleans in 2020, and ESSENCE fully supports that decision," the organization said in a statement at the time.

By converting to virtual, the organization said it would "extend the experience to communities everywhere providing unfettered access to the power, purpose and party that has made the ESSENCE Festival the largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience in the world."

Tickets for the ESSENCE Festival of Culture are on sale at

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