NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 Essence Festival, which returns to New Orleans July 4-7.

Prices for weekend ticket packages start at $130 and can be purchased at

The 2012 festival marked the event's 18th anniversary drew 413,000 attendees to hear performances by Aretha Franklin, Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, D'Angelo and comedian Kevin Hart.

A fourth day was added to the event this year to focus on youth and the next generation of stars, including Diggy Simmons, the OMG Girlz and Roshon Fegan.