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7 Music Festivals Perfect for a Girls’ Trip

Here’s everything you need to know about groovy getaway events in fun cities across the country featuring your favorite Black artists. Plus: Essence Fest celebrates 30 years!

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2023 Essence Festival Of Culture - Day 3
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
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What was the most memorable concert you've ever attended? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Festival szn (an abbreviated play on the word season adopted by younger generations on social media) is upon us. Typically, in the summer and early fall months, we see an array of festivals pop up across the country—especially those featuring some of our favorite musical acts.

Not only is this a great way to get more bang for your buck by way of experiencing multiple acts and installations in one event and oftentimes over the course of a few days, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to round up your sistah-girls for a getaway.

From the historic Essence Festival to newcomer Fool in Love Fest, here are some of this year’s best music festivals to check out with your girlfriends, family or partner.

Essence Festival of Culture

2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ - Caesar's Superdome - Day 3
Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ESSENCE

New Orleans, July 4- 7

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic multiday event. Janet Jackson will hit the stage on July 7 and Charlie Wilson aka "Uncle Charlie" will grace festival goers on the evening of July 6. There will also be a special Cash Money Millionaires 30-year tribute hosted by New Orleans' own, rapper Birdman. The event has expanded beyond just music to also include food & beverage installations, empowerment sessions and panels on protecting our mental health.

Fool in Love Festival

Los Angeles, August 31

A newcomer as far as music festivals go, Fool in Love is positioning itself to be one of the most iconic multigenerational events of our time. A lineup featuring nothing but legends—and Lionel Richie and Diana Ross as headliners—the Hollywood Park Grounds at SoFi Stadium are going to be filled with hundreds of beautifully melanated brothers, sisters and families all in the name of great music. Other notable acts include: Gladys Knight, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan and The Isley Brothers.

Newport Jazz Festival

2023 Newport Jazz Festival
Douglas Mason/Getty Images

Newport, RI August 2- August 4

Round up the girls for a quick trip to the Northeast for the 70th anniversary of this long-running event. Take in the breeze and views of the Narraganset Bay while you groove to the musical stylings of Niles Rodgers and Chic, Andre 3000 (½ of Atlanta rap duo Outkast who recently switched gears to become a flutist), Robert Glasper and the sultry Alex Isley to name a few. Pack the cooler, grab your lawn chairs or blankets, and chill.

Long Beach Jazz Fest

Long Beach, CA August 9- August 11,

Now in its 35th year, this Cali-based fest is a multigenerational family production that attracts music lovers from all over the country. Taking place in the area’s Rainbow Lagoon Park, the event also features a health and wellness pavilion with food sampling stations, vendors and expert speakers. We’re awaiting the announcement of 2024’s entertainment lineup, but be ready to get your two-step on. Past events have features Maxi Priest, Erin Stevenson, Will Downing and Kenny Lattimore.

Cincinnati Music Festival 

Shae Combs

Cincinnati, OH, July 25- July 27,

Originally known as the Ohio Valley Jazz Fest in 1962, it has now blossomed to one of Cincinnati’s premier summer experiences. This year’s lineup is stacked. So, grab your girls and get ready to be entertained by Black music legends like Fantasia, MC Lyte, Maxwell, Coco Jones, Kem, New Edition, newly introduced soul singer October London and others.

Blue Note Jazz Fest: Black Radio Experience

Napa Valley, CA, August 30-September 1

An expansion of the original Blue Note Jazz Fest (which will return officially in 2025), the Black Radio experience will feature many of the things we’ve come to love from Blue Note with a heavy emphasis on paying homage to Black culture and our contributions to art, food & wine, as well as music. The 2024 lineup was just announced, and you are in for a treat! Groove to headliners Jill Scott, Andre 3000 and John Legend. Other acts include: Ledisi, Common and Pete Rock as well as Nile Rodgers.

Music at the Intersection

Phillip Hamer

St. Louis, MO, September 14- September 15

Still considered a newer festival with only four years in the game, St. Louis’ 2024 Music at the Intersection will feature over four stages and more than 50 artists, across its two-day run. Legendary songstress Chaka Khan will hit the stage along with acts such as New Orleans’ Trombone Shorty, Atlanta rap icon Big Boi (one half of the group Outkast), the soulful Esperanza Spaulding and others!

What was the most memorable concert you've ever attended? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Culture-&-Style