NEW ORLEA NS (AP) — The 2020 Essence Festival brings a first-time performance by Bruno Mars and a return of Janet Jackson to the event's main stage.
Organizers announced Tuesday that Mars' planned appearance at Essence will be his only festival performance of the year, while Jackson will mark her third appearance — this one as part of her newly announced Black Diamond World Tour.
“This is a milestone year for ESSENCE and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications, Inc. in a statement.
Ebanks said the festival is excited to welcome Mars and have Jackson return.
“These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence ... To Bruno, Janet and all our ESSENCE Festival artists we say, ‘Welcome home," Ebanks said.
The festival is scheduled to run July 1-5 in New Orleans with a theme of “Own Our Power.”
Other scheduled performers include Janelle Monae, Patti LaBelle, Ari Lennox, Summer Walker, June's Diary, Rapsody, Stokley, Tamia and New Orleans' own, Tank and the Bangas. Estelle also will present a reggae and afrobeats affair, featuring Afro B, Chronnix, Elephant Man, Kranium and more.