Essence Fest looked fun. It’s finally back live in New Orleans, where it’s been a marquee event every year since its founding in 1995, with the exception of one relocation in 2006 due to Hurricane Katrina and one cancellation in 2020 because of freaking Covid (it happened online in 2021). We don’t have photos of the whole thing, but the bits and pieces we got include Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, a rare Lauryn Hill sighting, and Janet Jackson in giant shoes.

[Photos: Paras Griffin, Bennet Raglin/Getty Images for Essence, Ray Tamarra/Soul B Photos/Shutterstock, Erika Goldring/Getty Images, Josh Brasted/Getty Images for SiriusXM]