Without a doubt, Prince is the Essence Festival's main event. In 2004, he played the celebration's 10-year commemoration. On July 4, 2014, he comes back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the premiere night of the twentieth commemoration of Essence.
In the same way that he did in 2004, Prince is working on his night at Essence, he's choosing when and to what extent he will perform. Just as he did back in 2004, he will most likely keep the performance plans a secret, until he performs them the night of the show.
"I think we'll need to see that night," Essence Communications president Michelle Ebanks, the official who is in charge of the celebration, said as of late. "Prince is working through precisely how he's pulling (the night's lists) together." This comes to no surprise to the planner or any of the other production staff involved. This is what he did before, and this is what he will do again.
Essence – both the magazine, and the festival -- has developed a relationship with Prince. He appears on the cover of the June 2014 issue of Essence; in addition to the story about him, there is also an interview.
What he will perform– and when, and with whom, and for how long – at the Superdome on July 4 is a a total secret-- and that is just how Prince wants it.
"Prince has a very clear vision of the experience that he would like to create," Ebanks said. "That alone is the essence of his musical genius.