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How You Can Perform On The Essence Music Festival 2011 Main Stage

Many people dream of gracing the same stage as music greats such as Janet Jackson and Beyonce. That dream may become reality as the the founders of the Essence Music Festival and the Ford Motor company are launching "Essence Presents: R&B Star," an American Idol styled talent search for the next big R&B singing sensation.

The "R & B Star" competition will have music industry veteran judges such as Kevin Liles and Grammy nominated and platinum artist Peri "Pebbles" Reid. Reid and Liles have an impressive record for artist development, by developing artists such as multi-platinum TLC and Trey Songz.
The contest begins in March when Essence and Reid begin scouting talent in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

You may be saying, "But I don't live in or near any of those places!"

Never fear, there will be an online component to this talent competition, so beef up your social network and get ready to showcase your vocal skills.

Only six contestants will be chosen to begin a one-week artist bootcamp being dubbed the "road to the festival." After bootcamp, voting will begin online and via cell phone. The winner of the competition will be chosen in June to perform on the main stage at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, LA.

What happens if I'm not the lucky winner? How do I get my band showcased at the Essence Music Festival 2011?

Contact Local Businesses in New Orleans.

One of the biggest questions asked by musicians is how their band can be seen by a large number of people. The Essence Festival attracts over 200,000 visitors every year. If you are serious about your band, one way you can be seen by the majority of the people without being on the main stage at the Superdome is to contact local restaurants and hotels in the Central Business District and French Quarter areas to ask what their plans are for the fourth of July weekend. Many hotels and restaurants in and around the French Quarter look for lively bands to bring traffic to their place of business during the festival weekend.

A Booth at the Essence Marketplace

The other option is to pay the vendors fee for a spot in the Essence Marketplace at the Ernest Morial Convention Center, which is not ideal if your band is on a budget. However, this could be a wise investment for your group as the Ernest Morial Convention Center is home of the Essence Empowerment Seminar Series which is full of celebrity, and well connected, guest speakers. Selling cd's can help recoup some of the cost.

Street Performing

The city of New Orleans is also known for its charismatic and incredibly talented street performers. You have to be exceptional to garner the attention of the crowd. With so many celebrities in town for the Essence Festival 2011, you may not need to win the competition in order to get your band discovered and land a record deal.

Utilizing social networking sites can also help create buzz for your group and if they know you'll be in New Orleans during the fourth of July weekend, you'll have built in support.

Best of luck becoming the Essence Festival 2011 Superstar.

By: Dawn Richardson

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The Essence Festival 2011 will surely be a festive time had by all. For information on what to do in New Orleans during the fourth of July Essence Festival weekend click here -->

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