The 2007 Essence Festival web page is already up and it’s clear the music event is not coming back to Houston. One of my Louisiana friends sent this article from my hometown newspaper The Advocate:
The Essence Music Festival, affectionately referred to as “the party with a purpose,’’ and its $125 million economic impact are coming back to New Orleans next summer following a one-year Hurricane Katrina-imposed hiatus. That was the big announcement Tuesday from Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, Mayor Ray Nagin and Essence organizers, who said the annual Fourth of July weekend festival of hip-hop, rhythm & blues and soul performances will return to New Orleans for the next three years. The musical performances and empowerment seminars were moved to Houston this year because of Katrina-related repair work at the Louisiana Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, but despite Houston officials’ attempts to keep the event in Texas, Essence organizers said returning to New Orleans is the right thing to do.