Jill Scott, Maxwell to headline re-branded Essence

Change is name to showcase event as more than just a music festival

Image Credit: Reuters
Jill Scott holds two of her awards after winning for Best R&B/Soul Single Solo, Best R&B/Soul or New Rap Artist Solo and the 2001 Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award at the 7th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in Santa Monica, August 28, 2001.

New Orleans: The Essence Music Festival is dropping the music — from its name, that is.

The festival held in New Orleans every July 4th weekend for the past 18 years has rebranded itself The Essence Festival. Organizers say the change is designed to showcase the event as more than a music festival.

Still, music will remain a focus for the 19th annual festival, which is July 4-7.

The line-up includes more than 30 acts — a number of them Essence veterans. On the roster are Jill Scott, Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J and Brandy.

As in past years, concerts will be held at the Superdome while empowerment seminars on health, beauty, careers, education and relationships are held at a nearby convention centre.