These days, Prince’s festival appearances are few and far between. To say the least, The Purple One is notorious for marching to the beat of a different drummer as a showman, guitarist and business man and therefore it came as a hugely pleasant surprise to see this morning’s news announcing Prince as the first (and most likely biggest) headliner for this year’s 2014 Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 20th anniversary Essence Fest is scheduled for July 3-6, 2014 and the actual date Prince will headline was not revealed.
Prince previously headlined Essence ten years prior to the forthcoming appearance in 2004 while supporting his hit record Musicology. Notably, His Purple Highness reunited with Time bandmate Morris Day, and protege Sheila E. during a lively set that took place on 7/5/04. At this time, Prince was the highest-earning musician in the world and in the midst of a massive 96-show tour. While Prince certainly hasn’t become any less of a superstar in the past decade, his tours and festival appearances have been sporadic and rare. However, 2013 has been a big year for the artist that has seen the rollout of new material, re-working of classic material and a busy spring tour backed by his latest band, the all-female rockers of 3rdEyeGirl. Therefore, given his pedigree, there’s no telling what kind of band he’ll be touring with and what kind of show / production to expect from Prince by the time summer rolls around.
Perhaps 2014 will finally be the year Prince fully takes the US summer festival circuit by storm? Down here, we’ll take Essence as a great start to what could be another big year for Prince.
Additional 2014 Essence headliners will be announced early next year.
Tickets are on sale now at essencefestival.com.
Let’s Go Crazy.
Personal Post-Script: While I was lucky enough to finally cross Prince off of my live music bucket list earlier this year in Las Vegas, I’m fully supportive of another round with The Purple One in the Big Easy.