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Time Inc. to Host Essence Festival in Durban, South Africa

Oct 15, 2015

New York, NY (October 15, 2015) – Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is expanding its highly acclaimed Essence Festival franchise internationally, launching a three-year partnership with eThekwini Municipality to host the Essence Festival in Durban, South Africa, in 2016 and 2017, it was announced today at Durban City Hall by eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and Essence President Michelle Ebanks.


Each year, the Essence Festival in New Orleans draws more than 450,000 attendees from across the globe to its multiday entertainment, empowerment and cultural event, which generates an economic benefit of more than $200 million on the local economy.


The Essence Festival Durban will follow the format of the annual New Orleans event, presenting international performers and speakers to entertain and inspire, as well as a host of local artists and experts. The event will bring exciting and informative ideas to equip small businesses through empowerment seminars across various sectors, including career guidance workshops and other empowerment initiatives aimed at youth.


“We are delighted to partner with the vibrant city of Durban to launch the Essence Festival globally in South Africa,” said Ebanks. “Hosting our first international Essence Festival in Durban purposefully extends our mission to convene the diaspora around shared aspirations.”


Mayor Nxumalo said the city of Durban had made waves internationally in the past two years by hosting a number of high-profile events, which will now include the Essence Festival to further cement Durban as a choice international destination.


“This partnership will have a host of benefits for residents, starting with the Durban Business Fair (DBF) program, which strives to connect local businesses globally. The fair is taking place simultaneous to the Essence Festival launch announcement,” he said.


“For more than 20 years, the Essence Festival has brought thousands of people together in New Orleans from near and far to celebrate a world-class event,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I am thrilled that this festival is now expanding internationally to Durban, South Africa. The people of New Orleans know first-hand that the Essence Festival has not only enhanced our cultural economy but has also had a meaningful impact across the community through service and personal empowerment.”


Nxumalo said the Essence partnership would continue to focus on the development of women and youth in business. A number of women-owned businesses will be selected to trade at the festival, which will boost their profile and drive sales for their companies.



 About Essence Communications Inc. 

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, Essence magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, generating brand extensions, such as the Essence Festival, Essence Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, Essence, which has a brand reach of 14.2 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and Essence is available at www.essence.com.


 About Time Inc. 

Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world’s leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 140 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, Cooking Light, Fortune and Food & Wine, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom, such as Decanter, Horse & Hound and Wallpaper*. Time Inc. is home to celebrated franchises and events, including the Fortune 500, Time 100, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Essence Festival and the biennial Fortune Global Forum. Hundreds of thousands of people attend our events every year. We have been extending the power of our brands through various investments and acquisitions, including the formation of Sports Illustrated Play, a new company devoted to youth and amateur sports, and the acquisition of inVNT, a company that specializes in live media. We also provide content marketing, targeted local print and digital advertising programs, branded book publishing and marketing and support services, including subscription sales services for magazines and other products, retail distribution and marketing services and customer service and fulfillment services, for ourselves and third-party clients, including other magazine publishers.


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Dana Baxter





eThekwini Municipality

Tozi Mthethwa



Gugu Mbonambi


031 311 4855



Princess Nkabane


031 311 4818

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