Dancery diva Mary J. Blige is teaming up with Pepsi for the inaugural Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit (in partnership with Live Nation Urban) focusing on music, wellness, beauty, financial literacy, community-building, and tech between May 6th-8th, 2022 in Atlanta.
The Mother’s Day weekend event is unapologetically curated for and by women in the hotbed of creativity and culture where 9x Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actress, producer, and philanthropist Mary J. Blige will continue empowering BIPOC women through the art of music and truth-telling.
“The idea for the festival came to us after early listening sessions of my latest album with my family and friends and women in the industry,” said Blige.
Each time, the people in the room would share a story, oftentimes of heartbreak or pain, but they always ended with joy and love and how their girlfriends or mom or sister helped them find their voice and strength. We felt like after two years of being inside and having to endure so much, that this was the type of experience that people, especially women, deserved.
I’m so grateful to all of the performers, vendors, and participants for committing themselves to our inaugural event and I am so excited to do this in a city that has been rocking with me since the very beginning of my career. I am proud to create this with my sisters and I look forward to an undeniably beautiful and special experience.”
The buzzy festival is the brainchild of Blige and her partners Nicole Jackson, Vice President of MJB Inc. and Marketing Maven Ashaunna Ayars of The Ayars Agency who assembled a team of women to lead every arm of the festival from production to communications.
With incredible support from Mari Davies, Vice President of Booking and Talent at Live Nation Urban, the festival is the first of its kind to have women not only as the performing acts but as the decision-makers behind the scenes.
“I’m thrilled to present a powerful lineup of all-female talent headlined by, and in partnership with, Mary J Blige for the Inaugural Strength of a Woman Weekend in Atlanta,” said Davies.
“Mary’s story and career are so inspirational, relatable, and triumphant. The weekend will showcase and celebrate strong talented women across generations and I’m proud to be a part of such a special weekend! This is for us and by us.”
Blige and partners chose Atlanta as the backdrop for the inaugural event given its reputation as the mecca for young Black creatives and entrepreneurs.
In addition to celebrating the city, the festival is partnering with dozens of local, minority, and female-owned businesses and vendors to help cultivate the best experience for attendees.
Andre Dickens, Atlanta’s newly elected Mayor, is excited to support the festival.
“For generations, the foundation of Atlanta’s resilience has been built and fortified by women,” he said.
“The ‘Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit’ lifts up our local minority and women-owned local businesses and amplifies the voices of the women in our lives who continuously make our communities better through their lens of courage combined with compassion.
Thank you to Mary J. Blige—one of our nation’s most iconic artists and no stranger to Atlanta—and her partners for choosing Atlanta for this inaugural event. Atlanta continues to influence everything.”
Kicking off the weekend is the concert at Tabernacle Atlanta curated to highlight youth culture and emerging Hip-Hop and R&B superstars including Kiana Ledé, Emotional Oranges, Inayah, MK XYZ, Omerettá the Great, and more.
Rounding out the night is the comedy show at Buckhead Theater featuring the hilarious Ms. Pat, Just Nesh, and Erica Duchess.
Saturday festivities start off at The Gathering Spot ATL with the Strength of a Woman Summit—-the ultimate destination bringing the festival’s mission and purpose of empowerment, elevation, and education to life via engaging workshops and panel discussions.
The fun continues at the State Farm Arena with the second concert night featuring performances by Mary J. Blige and special guests Chaka Khan, City Girls, Ella Mai, and Queen Naija, and more.
Closing out the festival is the Mother’s Day Gospel Brunch on Sunday, May 8th. Hosted at the beautiful City Winery, the ticketed brunch service will feature Gospel stars Kierra Sheard, Le’Andria Johnson, and more.
Presale tickets go live Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 10am ET, while general on-sale begins on Thursday, March 10th at 10AM ET. All tickets can be purchased at www.soawfestival.com.