Times Standard (Eureka)

Mary J. Blige returns for Strength of a Woman Fest

- By Rodney Ho

Mary J. Blige is returning for a second Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit in Atlanta in May at State Farm Arena.

The four-day festival targeting Black women and sponsored by Pepsi will feature two nights of concerts featuring acts such as Lauryn Hill, Summer Walker, Jodeci, Busta Rhymes, Jeezy, Method Man and Jadakiss.

Two of those days will be at State Farm Arena on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13. Presale tickets are on sale with the code SOAW23 at Ticketmast­er, while general on-sale tickets hit the market Friday at 10 a.m.

Tickets sold out within three days last year, a press release said. Pricing has not been released yet.

Outside of State Farm Arena, there will be other events around town. Robert Glasper is performing at City Winery on Thursday, May 11. There is a summit at AmericasMa­rt on Saturday.

On Sunday, there will be a gospel brunch at The Bank hosted by Ryan Cameron and a new Sunday night closing event at the same location called “Purpose Ball,” produced by Miss Lawrence and featuring a special performanc­e from Saucy Santana to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. Mike Epps will host a comedy night at the Tabernacle Sunday as well.

The entire organizing team for this group is women including Nicole Jackson, vice president of

MJB Inc., and Ashaunna Ayars of The Ayars Agency.

The purpose of the festival, Blige said, is to provide music, wellness, tech, beauty and financial literary to women. The organizers said they chose to return to Atlanta because of its reputation as a mecca for young Black creatives and entreprene­urs and how well the festival was received in 2022.

“I’m so excited to bring our Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit back to Atlanta for its second year,“said Blige in a press release.*

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