The Essence Festival returns to New Orleans for the July Fourth weekend with four nights of evening concerts in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and three days of the Empowerment Experience at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Among the nation’s largest events, the Essence Festival is expected to draw more than 550,000 attendees during its Thursday through Sunday run.

More than 40 musical acts will perform on the festival’s five Superdome stages. Tickets are available through essence.com/festival and TicketMaster.com.

This year’s main stage talent includes Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Kevin Hart, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, festival favorite Charlie Wilson and New Orleans’ Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews with his band Orleans Avenue.

Talent also runs deep in the festival’s four superlounges. Performers in the Art of Hip-Hop Superlounge will include hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh, New Orleans rappers Mystikal and Dee-1 and New Orleans funk-rock band Dumpstaphunk, featuring Ivan Neville.

Performances in the Hot Right Now Superlounge include rockabilly-inspired San Diego singer Andra Day and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding’s conceptual performance piece, “Emily’s D+Evolution.”

There’s more local talent in the Soul R&B Superlounge with recent “The Voice” contestant Tonya Boyd-Cannon. Prince protégé Andy Allo, the musically adventurous Robert Glasper, and rappers Wale and Tweet are among the performers in the Now Playing Superlounge. This year’s Empowerment Experience speakers include Emmy-winning TV personality and comedian Steve Harvey, singers Wilson and Arie, veteran Democratic political strategist and Kenner native Donna Brazile, Rev. Al Sharpton and former New Orleans mayor and President and CEO of the National Urban League Marc Morial.

Essence Festival music schedule

MAIN STAGE

Thursday

7 p.m.: Lecrae

7:45 p.m.: Trey Songz

8:45 p.m.: Kevin Hart

Friday, July 3

7:15 p.m.: Kem

8:20 p.m.: India.Arie

9:25 p.m.: Charlie Wilson

11:15 p.m.: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

Saturday, July 4

7:35 p.m.: Common

8:35 p.m.: Erykah Badu

9:55 p.m.: Missy Elliott

11:15 p.m.: Usher

Sunday, July 5

7 p.m.: Floetry

8 P.M.: TROMBONE SHORTY AND ORLEANS AVENUE

9:20 P.M.: MARY J. BLIGE

10:55 P.M.: KENDRICK LAMAR

ART OF HIP-HOP SUPERLOUNGE

Friday, July 3

8:35 p.m.: Doug E. Fresh

8:45 p.m.: Kool Moe Dee

Saturday, July 4

7:05 p.m.: Slick Rick

7:20 p.m.: Mystikal

8:45 p.m.: Kool Moe Dee

Sunday, July 5

7 p.m.: Dee-1

7:55 P.M.: DUMPSTAPHUNK

9:05 P.M.: MASE

HOT RIGHT NOW SUPERLOUNGE

Friday, July 3

7:45 p.m.: Adrian Marcel

8:40 p.m.: Nico & Vinz

9:15 p.m.: Kelly Price

Saturday, July 4

7 p.m.: Sevyn Streeter

8:10 p.m.: Mali Music

9:20 p.m.: Esperanza Spalding Presents: EMILY’S D+EVOLUTION

Sunday, July 5

7:05 p.m.: Andra Day

8 P.M.: SZA

8:55 P.M.: LIANNE LA HAVAS

SOUL OF R&B SUPERLOUNGE

Friday, July 3

7:35 p.m.: Avery*Sunshine

TBA: B- Slade

9:10 p.m.: Kelly Price

Saturday, July 4

7 p.m.: Tank and the Bangas

7:55 p.m.: Tonya Boyd-Cannon

9:10 p.m.: Bilal

Sunday, July 5

7 p.m.: Teedra Moses

8:10 P.M.: ERIC ROB

NOW PLAYING SUPERLOUNGE

Friday, July 3

6:55 p.m.: Luenell

7:30 p.m.: Goapele

10:15 p.m.: Kindred The Family Soul

Saturday, July 4

7:20 p.m.: Wale

8:20 p.m.: Elle Varner

9:35 p.m.: Raheem DeVaughn

Sunday, July 5

7:45 p.m.: Andy Allo

8:40 p.m.: Omarion

9:30 p.m.: Robert Glasper

TBA: Tweet

TBA: Jeff Bradshaw