On Tuesday, it was revealed that popular streaming platform Hulu would be the official streaming partner for this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture, taking place over the July 4th weekend.
Per a press release sent to The Root, this marks the first time ever that ESSENCE has made programming from its iconic Festival available on a streaming platform. Certain daytime programming like panel discussions and nightly musical performances will be available exclusively to Hulu subscribers to livestream at no additional cost (but you do need to be signed up on one of their plans to view the festivities.) The “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” livestream will run on the platform July 1 - 3 from 7:00pm-11:59pm CT.
In addition to hosting the livestream, Hulu will also have a special presence on-site at the Festival. They’ll be providing guests with an immersive experience at “The Rink @ The Hulu Motel,” a roller skating rink filled with interactive touchpoints, giveaways, and content-themed bites and drinks. Skaters will also be treated to live performances by DJ OHSO and DJ DIAMOND KUTS. The three-day activation will be open through the entire weekend beginning at 12 noon until 7:00pm to guests 21 and older at the New Orleans Civic Theatre.
This announcement comes not too long after it was announced that The Walt Disney Company, Hulu’s parent company, would be the exclusive entertainment sponsor for the 2022 ESSENCE Festival, expanding on a decade-long partnership.
“The Walt Disney Company is proud to serve as the exclusive entertainment sponsor at the premier celebration of Black culture,” said Latondra Newton, senior vice president and chief diversity officer of The Walt Disney Company in a statement. “ESSENCE Fest affirms and amplifies the Black excellence, creativity and innovation that is reflected in our people, storytelling and experiences.”
Added Pauline Malcolm-Thornton, Chief Revenue Officer of Essence Ventures: “At ESSENCE we believe in building strategic engagements with our partners that drive significant value and put them authentically at the intersection of the culture that our audience creates and influences every single day. We are thrilled to deepen our relationship and expand upon our journey with Disney to deliver and celebrate our theme of Black joy for ESSENCE Fest and beyond.”
The theme for this year’s EFOC is “It’s the Black Joy For Me,” and if you want to experience some of that joy in-person or virtually, head on over to essence.com.