For R&B music and culture it's hard to top Essence Festival. Now in its 19th year, this extended weekend event celebrates music, culture, community, empowerment and inspiration, boasting a star-studded lineup of artists like Beyoncé, LL Cool J and New Edition on the mainstage, plus Bilal, Mint Condition and Chrisette Michele and many more performing in more intimate superlounge settings. Get additional enrichment at the Empowerment Experience Stage, offering showcases and discussions from entertainers and activists like Steve Harvey and Rev. Al Sharpton.

New Orleans, Louisiana. July 4-7. More info: essence.com/festival

Get more of our editors' picks for must-see festivals and tours in the Summer Concert Guide.