Your Guide to the ESSENCE Festival

Each year, New Orleans hosts hundreds of thousands of people attending the ESSENCE Festival over the Fourth of July weekend.  What started as a one-time event to celebrate the magazine’s 25th anniversary has grown into the largest celebration of African American music and culture in the United States. There are a number of smartphone apps to make navigating New Orleans and the festival a snap.

The four-day event features seminars with well-known thought leaders such as  Michael Lomax, Ph.D., and Iyanla Vanzant, along with performances by some of the biggest names in music, including Luke James, Charlie Wilson, Jill Scott and Beyoncé. To stay on top of what’s happening throughout the weekend, download the 2013 ESSENCE Festival app. The app provides the latest updates on the artist lineup and empowerment panel series. It also allows users to share their ESSENCE Festival plans and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

To experience everything New Orleans has to offer, GO NOLA: Guide to New Orleans offers insider tips on things to do at the French Quarter and the historic Treme district. The app also features free, celebrity-narrated walking tours.

Individuals can more easily locate taxis to navigate the city can save the hassle of tracking down an open cab with Taxi Magic. The app uses GPS to connect smartphones with local dispatch systems to send an open taxi anywhere in the city and lets users pay right from their smartphones.  

Finally, festival attendees will need a way to share all of their pictures from the weekend.  PicCollage lets users instantly arrange photos into frames or get creative with freeform collages, cutouts, filters, borders, stickers and text. 

Enjoy this year’s ESSENCE Festival, and follow the action on Twitter via @essencefest or #ESSENCEFest.