ESSENCE's Festival of Culture is one of the largest festivals in the world, where thought leaders, creators and world entertainers come together to celebrate the diaspora of Black culture. For the first time in three years, ESSENCE Festival is back on the ground IRL in New Orleans for a weekend of exciting programming, music performances, panels and community celebrations.
At this year's ESSENCE Fest, we're celebrating the collective impact and brilliance of the #BlackTikTok community, with a lineup of onsite programming that will feature some of our most-inspiring, trendsetting creators.
Here's a preview of our first-time #BlackTikTok ESSENCE Festival programming, with key moments you won't want to miss!
TikTok's mainstage panel moments at ESSENCE Festival Of Culture
The Power of #BlackTikTok: Moderated by #BlackTikTok Creator Community Manager Alexzi Girma, some of your favorite trailblazing creators, including Ariana Taylor (@arri.arii) and James Henry (@jameshenry) will speak on the Wealth & Power Stage for a discussion on how they are blazing trails on TikTok and defining what's next for the entertainment industry, as next-gen stars and inspiring voices in the Black community. From defining and starting trends, to educating others through content and promoting a culture of credit on TikTok, these creators will dive into how they've successfully defined their careers and continue to shift culture on the platform. The panel takes place on Friday, July 1st at 10:44 AM CT.
#BlackOwnedEverything: Supporting and investing in Black-owned fashion brands continues to be at the forefront of online conversation as Black culture (and Black creatives) continue to drive the latest runway trends. For this panel, we'll bring together some of the biggest voices of #BlackFashionTikTok including Pierrah Hilaire (@pierrahh) and Nydia Twitty (@slimreaperofficial) for a state of the union on being Black in fashion and TikTok's role in creating more access and representation for Black voices. This panel discussion will be held at the Beauty Carnival stage, moderated by TikTok Fashion Growth Strategist, Chazz Inniss. The panel will take place on Friday, July 1st at 3:39 PM CT.
#Wellness is Resistance: On TikTok, the hashtags #BlackJoy, #BlackHealthMatters, and #blackgirlhealth serve as a real-time how-to guide for Black women prioritizing self-care, rest, and overall wellness IRL and online. There's a growing movement of Black women and Black communities practicing unapologetic self-care and seizing Black Joy as an act of resistance. Moderated by Head of Content Partnerships, Vanessa Craft, you'll hear from some of the platform's top wellness advocates, mental health experts, and Black voices, including Morgan Lynzi (@morganlynzi) and Shani Tran (@theshaniproject) who are using TikTok to inform and shift the stigma around self-care and wellness for our communities. This panel discussion is on Sunday, July 3 at 3:35 PM CT and will be held at ESSENCE's Wellness House.
TikTok's ESSENCE House pop-up Experience
For the first time-ever, we're debuting an IRL TikTok pop-up experience on site for ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, at ESSENCE House inside of the Virgin Hotel. On Saturday July 2nd 10 AM CT - 5 PM CT, festival-goers will be able to visit our pop-up that will feature a live DJ, content capture opportunities inspired by #beautytok, #wellnesstok and #foodtok and more surprise moments.
If you're not attending ESSENCE Festival in person this year, you can still join in on the celebration virtually through tuning in to ESSENCE Studio, where select panel sessions and programming will be livestreamed. Be sure to tune in to watch TikTok's mainstage panel moments, including: Our Power of #BlackTikTok panel streaming Friday, July 1st at 10:44 AM CT, the #BlackOwnedEverything panel scheduled for Friday, July 1st at 3:39 PM CT and our #Wellness is Resistance panel on July 3 at 3:35 PM CT.
#BlackJoy LIVE series and in-app programming on TikTok
Friday, July 1st at 3 PM CT, @ESSENCE will host a TikTok LIVE interview series from behind the scenes at ESSENCE Fest, featuring LGBTQ+ Trailblazer DeAndre Brown (@imdrebrown) and GRAMMY-award winning singer-songwriter Ashanti. Throughout the weekend, we're also launching in-app programming for the hashtag #BlackJoy, where you can discover the best BTS content and real-time highlights from creators who are attending ESSENCE Festival. Follow @BlackTikTok and @TikTokCreators, where we will be highlighting NOLA culture and weekend's best festival moments with our #BlackTikTok creators.
On TikTok, Black creators continue to inspire mainstream culture and define what's next in entertainment, through their trendsetting creativity and authentic storytelling. We're honored to kick of this exciting week in New Orleans, alongside our #BlackTikTok community and creators as we continue the great tradition of celebrating and elevating Black voices at ESSENCE Festival this year.