The Essence Music Festival is underway! Last night’s performances from Ludacris, Ciara, Ruben Studdard, the Isley Brothers, and more was just the beginning of an amazing weekend to come. As we reported earlier in the week, the festival is back in New Orleans for the first time after Hurricane Katrina hit a couple of years ago. Tonight’s show will feature performances from Beyonce, Robin Thicke, and Chris Brown. The final show, which will be held tomorrow, will feature performances from Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, and more! Check here for photos from all 3 days. But for now, you can check out the photos from last night! Senator Barack Obama was also there to speak on next year’s presidential election. Hilary Clinton will be speaking tonight.