Welcome to Outside the DJ Booth! Essence Festival was a great time! 

However, here is a mini recap and some helpful tips I wanted to share. BELOW! Whether this is your first Essence Fest or millionth, here are some things tips I found helpful!

 MINI-RECAP (Performances)

Top Performances:

Mary J. Blige came to win! I have seen Mary many times and must say this was a phenomenal performance. She hit all the notes and did a kung-fu jump that had you feeling the music!

Chance the Rapper brought everyone to church, and brought up the energy in the Super Dome. Amazing! 

Oh, and Diana Ross  aka Miss Ross still has it! OHHHHH, she came to show out and make sure you know she is the original Diva!


Essence Festival is a great time and hand-downs a must-do for your 4th of July weekend (at least once). 

·      Download the Official Essence app

Seriously, this is a must. Essence Festival can be overwhelming! There are many panels, shows, booths, parties and more. Learn the app in and out and bookmark what you desire.  

·      Plan your day ahead

No matter what experience you desire - PLAN! Utilize your favorite map app to determine the distance. Plan and prepare the night ahead with the app as well (Thanks Kamico for this tip!). Even if you have a tentative schedule plan, PLAN it out.

So, cabbies have a tendency to drop you off at the wrong location or near the location. UGH! So always double check the exact location and exact name.

Bonus: Oh, and Uber is the least expensive transportation to the airport! Be on time, the lines are crazy! I DO NOT recommend the shuttle, you will grow old waiting to arrive to your hotel or airport drop!

·      Wear comfortable shoes

For my ladies and gents: Wear comfortable shoes that can sustain long hours! I Ladies – I DO NOT recommend heels at all! If you need a heel, I found it helpful to carry them in a tote until you arrive at your location. Even for parties, you will notice many people are wearing flats due to long hours of walking.

·    Protect your skin and hair

 You must have sunscreen for your skin and have your favorite humidity blocker for your hair. No matter what hair type you have, the humidity is a HATER!  You cannot win without the right products.

HACK:  Most booths will refresh your hair and makeup. Just letting you know, if you need a quick touch up!

Also, dry shampoo will help to keep your hair style longer. I know, for African American hair, this is NOT something we tend to use. But I found this was extremely helpful djaying in the heat!

Favorite Products:

Also, for my hair I like: Creme Of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges, Extra Hold and Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding

·      Power & Battery Backups

You will need about 2 charged battery back-up per day. Go for the high powered charger with mulitple ports to share with friends or a potential bae.

My Top picks:

·      Eat, eat and eat some more!

New Orleans is the best place for a foodie! Research restaurants and look at photos on Yelp (if you need help to decide)!  This saved me from ordering a dish that had ingredients that were not listed! This is necessary if you have dietary restrictions.

Most of the food in NOLA is fried, dipped in butter or just flat out packed with calories, but it is WORTH it! Enjoy the local flair, drink hurricanes in the streets but consider a detox when you get home!

Major tip: Eat before you hit the concerts or by 6pm! You will not have time to grab a quality meal if you do not eat prior to the concert or if you prefer to not eat at 2am.

Sidebar: I will mention my favorites in the more extensive recap video. But real quick: Dragos  for charbroiled oysters and Royal Oyster House for crab claws (special note: it has a dairy base)

·    Learn something

 Make an effort to learn!  Whatever your interest may be, there is a segment, panel or seminar for you. From beauty, politics, new artist, personal development and career development (seriously, there were LinkedIn head shot photographers and resume review available, how cool!?). Whatever you need, it is there for you!


·      Make new friends!

There is no shortage of beautiful faces from all over the country and lots of celebrities! Many women are on a girls trips and men are on boys trips, but everyone is VERY friendly. As a native New Yorker, I had to soften up a bit. 

friend face.gif


Besides the music, food, culture and beautiful faces – what makes the Essence Festival unique and stands out among the rest of festivals.  You have the control to experience whatever you desire. Whether you want to party, eat, attend concerts, wobble, learn or meet people. The choice is yours!

Praise him! You made it home and now need a day to recover!

Praise him! You made it home and now need a day to recover!

See you next week!

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you subscribe to the Youtube channel for all videos and follow on social media for more information (@djcdevone)!

Outside the DJ Booth Weekly Playlist

DJ Just Dizle aka Le Champion from Paris, France! Bringing a #FBF from Essence Festival 2015! Enjoy!