Scroll Top

Can ESSENCE Festival be the SXSW for African- Americans?


2014 ESSENCE Festival

This was my first year attending ESSENCE Music Festival. The event is targeted primary to African- Americans women and this year had record attendance reaching 550,000 attendees. ESSENCE is a true mix of music, entrepreneurial workshops, trade shows, film/tv screenings and panels. The only big piece missing from ESSENCE is more technology. This year ESSENCE held it’s first “tech village” in partnership with YESWECODE. IMHO it was a great start but was very underserved every time I walked over. Regardless ESSENCE reminded me of another conference that has little diversity, at least in the technology portion, SXSW.

I posted the thought below on FacebookIt hit me.. ‪#‎essencefest‬ is ‪#‎sxsw‬ for black people…, Thoughts?” and the comments were surprising.

Regardless I believe as we live in this digital/technology world I hope to see more technology related events during ESSENCE in the future.

What are your thoughts?

Read More ESSENCE on
2014 ESSENCE Festival
Part 1: ESSENCE Festival 2014 New Attendee Record with over 550,000 attendees
Part 2: Interview with ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks on Women and Innovation with Google Glass
Part 3: P&G Uses Behavior Change Technology and The Braxton Sisters For More “Gains” During ESSENCE
Part 4: Verizon Connects ESSENCE To the World
Part 5: An ESSENCE Fest with McDonald’s @mcdscene + #365BlackAwards
Part 6: Ford Empowers Culture during ESSENCE #fordup
Part 7: An interview with Anthony Anderson on Black-ish at ESSENCE
Part 8. An actor with a purpose, Nate Parker talks Beyond the Lights
Part 9: Can ESSENCE Festival be the SXSW for African- Americans?
Part 10: 6 Inspiring photos from the ESSENCE Festival YESWECODE Hackathon
Part 11: Nielsen’s Diversity Intelligence Data Will Make You Rethink Inclusion
Part 12: Photos From ESSENCE Festival 2014

Full ESSENCE coverage on can be found at: