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Tobe Nwigwe performs on stage.
Honeyland festival is showcasing Black excellence in music, food, and spirits.
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Houston Is Gearing Up For Honeyland — a Showcase of Black Excellence in Food, Music, and Spirits

The festival is bringing out culinary stars like Houston chef Chris Williams and Dallas’s Tiffany Derry, with performances by Mary J. Blige, Tems, and Tobe Nwigwe

Honeyland Festival — a two-day event slated to showcase the creativity of Black professionals across various industries, including food, beverages, music, and art — is bringing some of the biggest names in food and the music industry to the Houston area this fall.

The two-day festival, scheduled for November 11 and 12, will overtake Sugar Land’s Crown Festival Park, with food and beverage demonstrations, cook-off competitions, panel and podcast conversations, and concerts from major acts, including Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, Jazmine Sullivan, Nigerian singer TEMS, and Chlöe Bailey.

According to Live Nation Urban’s president Shawn Gee, the festival will be a cultural intersection of “the best in food and beverage.” Lauded chef and TV personality Marcus Samuelsson, who notably visited Houston to explore the West African food scene in a past episode of PBS’ No Passport Required, is hand-picking the culinary talent, while Fawn Weaver, — a whiskey named after the formerly enslaved Nathan “Nearest” Green who reportedly taught Jack Daniel the craft of distilling — curates the festival’s beverage and spirits programming.

Marcus Samuelsson leans over a cutting board on a counter.
Chef and TV personality Marcus Samuelsson is curating the culinary talent for Honeyland.

The lineup is already impressive, with Houston-based chefs and restaurateurs including chef Chris Williams of Lucille’s, chef Dawn Burrell; Kavachi Ukegbu, the Houston-based chef behind West African food and art show, the Art of Fufu; Keisha Griggs, the chef behind fast-casual restaurant Kuji Kitchen and the city’s Black Chefs Table series; Shawn Osbey, chef at Kulture Kitchen; Steve Rogers, owner of Bar 5015, and Houston rapper Bun B, who most recently opened the brick-and-mortar for smash burger sensation Trill Burgers.

Other featured culinary talent at Honeyland includes:

Musical performers also include a robust list of musicians and Grammy Award-winning artists, plus a notable lineup of Houstonians, including DJ Mr. Rogers, Dende, Lenora; rappers Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Scarface, Lil Keke, and Z-Ro; plus Tobe Nwigwe, who will serve as the festival’s “Houston ambassador.”

Music acts slated to perform include:

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Chlöe
  • Coco Jones
  • Inayah
  • Jae Murphy
  • Kiotti & Keisha Nicole
  • Lucky Daye
  • Miguel
  • Tay Powers
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Spinall
  • TEMS

A collaboration between entertainment company Live Nation Urban and event and talent management company IMG, the festival is intent on highlighting top Black food creators, artists, and musicians who have shaped modern music, as well as Black mixologists, blenders, wine experts, and distillers.

“It’s so important that we take the time to celebrate Black food, drink, and music, and acknowledge the impact we’ve had on American culture,” Bun B said in a statement. “To do this in the city that I reside in and call home makes it that much more special.”

Festival leaders have also pledged to assist the community it celebrates by hiring and working with local and diverse businesses and aims to invest $1 million in grants to Black creators in Houston, which will offer financial support, professional training, and career development to assist the next generation of hospitality leaders of color.

The full schedule for the multi-stage event will be announced later. Until then, two-day general admission tickets, and VIP and platinum passes, which give festival-goers access to private rooms and special programming, are available online as of July 19. General tickets will be sold on Friday, July 21 starting at 9 a.m., with special early access given to those who sign up for the Honeyland’s newsletter.

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