ESSENCE Festival Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Each year, people from across the United States gather in New Orleans to hear some of the biggest names in the music industry at the ESSENCE Festival. Now in its 20th year, the event has grown to be more than a series of concerts and performances. It is an opportunity for the thousands who attend to connect with each other and their passions. The ESSENCE Festival also provides an opportunity for Verizon to connect with the community and power the passion of festival attendees.

We sat down with Krista Bourne, president of Verizon Wireless’ Houston/Gulf Coast Region – where the festival takes place – to get an inside look at the many ways Verizon Wireless is powering ESSENCE Festival weekend.  

Why is it important for Verizon to connect with the ESSENCE community?

We believe that an individual can only reach their highest potential when they are connected to a powerful network. Showcasing the power of Verizon’s network with the ESSENCE community gives us an opportunity to show how individuals can transform their lives.

How can the ESSENCE community connect with Verizon throughout the weekend?

In addition to our booths at the Verizon Superlounge and Verizon Studio in the Superdome, festival attendees can connect with Verizon at the Career Connections zone. Representatives from Verizon’s HR team will be at the ESSENCE Festival looking to meet talented and driven individuals who share our value of leveraging technology to create a better world. Festival attendees who would like to take home the latest in wireless devices and accessories can connect with us at the Verizon shop in the Convention Center.

Community is a large part of the ESSENCE Festival. How is Verizon connecting with the community?

We’re empowering girls between the ages of 12 and 17 years old to help address teen dating violence. In partnership with Black Girls Code and Break the Cycle, we are hosting the loveisrespect hackathon competition in New Orleans, an event that teaches software design and promotes healthy relationships. At the hackathon, girls will work in teams to build apps and solutions to address an issue relevant to their peers in an environment that encourages teamwork and creativity. The team that develops the top app in New Orleans will receive a scholarship and select a New Orleans-based domestic violence organization to receive a HopeLine from Verizon grant.

How else will Verizon power the passion of ESSENCE Festival attendees?

Whether your passion is fitness and sports, music and entertainment or gadgets and gear, there is something for everyone at the Verizon booth. Representatives from Black Girls Run will be on hand throughout the weekend to offer tips on incorporating technology into your fitness routine. In addition, some of the biggest names in Hollywood – including Morris Chestnut, Lance Gross and Regina Hall – will join Verizon to talk about how technology is changing the Hollywood experience.