Bossip Be Trippin: Essence Fest 25
Hey beautiful people, it’s your wanderlusty buddy-pal Alejandro with another White Diamond-splashed Essence Fest adventure to recap. And yes, there are taupe kitten heels, bedazzled bodysuits, snazzy toe rings, stretchy floral fabrics, young aunties in polka dot hot pants and big Bluetooth energy (courtesy of Pop-Pop Frankie Beverly) sprinkled into this journey.
Sounds amazing, I know, so let’s get into it. But first–I have to thank Ford for loaning me a 2019 Ford F-150 Limited (basically an Autobot) for the trip. I’ll call him Optimus Jr. and he’s simply incredible with the best fuel mileage of any new-age truck.
I drove from Atlanta to NOLA (470 miles) without stopping for gas and STILL had 100 miles left to E. It’s absolutely life-changing (if you have an older vehicle like myself) with a planet-shaking sound system, dependable navigation interface, spacious interior (sooo much backseat space for luggage unlike most pickup trucks), MOONROOF, self-parallel parking (yes, you read that right) and buttery smooth leather seats.
This isn’t a commercial (I promise) but I told them I would let yall know how impressive the F-150 is. My only (small) complaint is the $69 is takes to fill up. STRESSFUL. But yea, I’m a fan and recommend you take one for a spin someday.
Now, back to Essence Fest that attracted 1.7 billion people (I counted) to the (not) Big (enough) Easy this year for some good ‘ole fashioned day drinking shenanigans in wig-melting, eyebrow-sizzling heat.
At one point, it was 104° outside but that didn’t stop anyone from attending an impressive array of events and brunches and lunches and dinners and pop-ups and soirées and kickbacks and meet & greets this year. There were SO MANY EVENTS. Almost too many. And these were my faves:
Spotify’s star-studded House of Are & Be was a VIBE with well-moisturized somebodies and the most IG-friendly photo booth experience at the festival. Look at our Digital Comms Director Lexi killin’ it.
Yep, EVERYBODY was there.
Ava Duvernay, Gayle King & more stopped by the exclusive Summer Of OWN Essence Cocktail Party at Legacy Kitchen for great vibes, impossible amounts of food (IT WAS LITERALLY A FEAST–THANKS OPRAH!) and all the Dove products you could stuff into your luggage. It was quite the event.
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@universalpictures threw an extravagant First Look soirée with the prettiest flowers on Earth & open bar for soon-to-be movie of the moment #QueenAndSlim. I only saw the first 12 minutes but it looks incredible in a ‘Love Jones’ had a baby with ‘Set It Off’ kinda way. Big shouts to @lenawaithe & everyone involved #TrustGod #EssenceFest #SupportBlackFilm (Swipe)
Universal Pictures threw a swanky First Look soirée where they showed the first 12 minutes of soon-to-be movie of moment “Queen & Slim.” It looks incredible. No, seriously.
Brandy stunned at AT&T’s extravagant Dream In Black brunch (that also celebrated Ava Duvernay and Zendaya). She looked and sounded AMAZING.
Starz always has great Essence Fest events and this year’s Lounge was another win.
The magnificent Motown Manor had tarot card readings, henna painting, celebrity MUAs for guests, braid adorning, open bar and a live performance/intimate chat with BJ the Chicago Kid. Very dope.
Shea butter baby Ari Lennox gave us a classic moment at Airbnb’s elegant A Woman’s Path To Power event. THEY HAD DELICIOUS MINI-SHRIMP PO’BOYS.
HBO’s intimate Black Ladies in Comedy brunch celebrated Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell (Supervising Producer & Actress), A Black Lady Sketch Show‘s Dime Davis (Director) and Lauren Ashley Smith (Head Writer) who chatted about Blackness in very white Hollywood spaces. Great convo and even better food.
Our good friends at Ford painted the future proud with a culturally delicious Ride & Drive experience combining art, food and fellowship.
Disney’s preview brunch for “The Lion King” and several other future box office smashes from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” to “Frozen 2” was, well, magical.
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This was the moment when luxurious linens magically appeared on me in the Superdome. Pop-Pop Frankie had the aunties in taupe kitten heels going crazy. This is big Bluetooth energy. Lord, please let my shoulders be this full of life at 72. Meemaw was right—they don’t make music like this anymore #EssenceFest
Forever First Lady Michelle Obama and Final Boss auntie MJB set the tone for Pop-Pop Frankie to unleash big bluetooth energy during a dazzling performance that closed out Essence Fest with the biggest of bangs.
Overall, I really enjoyed Essence Fest 25 and LOVE that it lived up to the hype. Special thanks to Team Epiphany for the exclusive invites, Legacy Kitchen‘s wonderful staff who blessed us with fresh (and delicious) beignets, Ford, HBO, AT&T, BET, OWN, Disney, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Universal and Motown.
Thanks for reading and follow my unsupervised shenanigans on IG (@alejandro_nigelsias). See ya next time!