If you've never experienced the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, know two things- 1.) There's nothing like it and 2.) You gotta go!  Here's a brief recap of this years event.

Sure, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans is a celebration of music, however it's much more than that.  Their slogan "Party With A Purpose" is exactly what it is.  The entertainment line-up is always top notch, the parties are unbelievable and the Essence market, at the convention center is always full of excitement and thousands of people.

Essence through the years has become a staple for the empowerment of people of color as well.  The seminars get better and better every year.  Here's a look at some of the speakers and topics that were discussed this year.

Here's at some of this years performers onstage and backstage:

Here's a look at the Gospel Showcase: