The ESSENCE Festival will remain in New Orleans through 2019 with a new contract extension, organizers announced Friday.

“We are so pleased to extend our partnership with the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans for another five years,” said ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks, who added state and city officials have embraced the event as one of their own.

“Through collaboration, we have created a one-of-a-kind experience that enables the community to revel in culture, be entertained, informed and inspired—within the rich heritage that only New Orleans, Louisiana can provide.”

“ESSENCE has been a tremendous partner over the past 20 years,” says Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “This event attracts artists and participants from around the world and creates an international platform to both celebrate culture and engage in critical conversations that affect our communities. In addition, the festival creates a lasting economic impact in our city and has positioned New Orleans as a top Fourth of July destination.”

"ESSENCE Festival has become an integral part of New Orleans and Louisiana from a tourism standpoint,” Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said. “We are pleased that the partnership we’ve built with ESSENCE will continue for another five years.”

More than 550,000 attended this year ESSENCE Festival, the 20th anniversary of the event.