Essence Festival sets performance schedule _lowres

Usher will perform July 4 at Essence Festival in New Orleans.

The Essence Festival, taking place July 2-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, has announced its nightly music schedule.

The festival will open Thursday, July 2, with the “What Now? Tour,” featuring actor-comedian Kevin Hart and music acts Trey Songz and Lecrae.

Friday’s main stage performers will include Charlie Wilson, India.Arie, Kem and a to-be-announced returning act from New Orleans. Friday’s Superlounges will feature Adrian Marcel, Avery*Sunshine, Doug E. Fresh, Goapele, Kelly Price, Kindred The Family Soul, Luenell, Nico & Vinz and Slick Rick.

Saturday’s main stage acts will be Usher, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, Common, Beenie Man & the Zagga Zow Band. Saturday’s Superlounges will feature Bilal, Elle Varner, Esperanza Spalding Presents: Emily’s D+Evolution, Kool Moe Dee, Mali Music, Mystikal, Raheem DeVaughn, Sevyn Streeter, Tank and the Bangas, and Tonya Boyd-Cannon.

Sunday’s main stage performers will be Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Floetry. The Superlounges will feature Andra Day, Dee-1, Dumpstaphunk, Eric Roberson, Jeff Bradshaw, Lianne La Havas, Mase, Robert Glasper, SZA, Teedra Moses and Tweet.

Single-day tickets start at $50 per person per night.

More information about ticket sales, accommodations and the festival is available at