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All photos by Alina Velasquez

The first day of Honeyland Festival at the Crown Festival Park in Sugarland was filled with amazing food, beautiful handcrafted goodies and flawless performances from Black artists all around the world. Festival goers were overwhelmed with the talent spread out through the park.

After walking into the park, fans were immediately introduced to the branding of the festival itself. Huge “Honeyland” signs and 3D cutout letters were set up around the venue, including some giant Instagram-style frames, for people to take pictures with.

Tents were sprawled out around the park showcasing all kinds of work from Black entrepreneurs. From jewelry to one-of-a-kind art, even custom T-shirts were openly screen printed; this festival had it all.

There was plenty to buy and plenty to try. At every twist and turn of the festival, at least three or four vendors lined up to tell their stories and share their products. Once attendees thought they saw everything, the smell of freshly fried shrimp would pull them around another corner where six more vendors were lined up.

As the day went on and the fans had had their fair share of free samples, the food lines grew. This was true, especially for the line for one of Houston’s favorites Trill Burgers, owned by the Houston Rapper Bun B.

Shayla Ansah, CEO and founder of Shayla Ansah Collections spoke about her handcrafted jewelry.

“This collection was built on the hope that we all may have more unity, abundance, power and representation,” said Ansah.

The festival also had plenty of shows to entertain guests in between music performances. Aside from the main music stage, Honeyland had two additional stages set up; Studio HL, for more intimate showings such as meet and greets or Q&As and then the Eats + Sips Stage for live demos with celebrity chefs.

A couple of the shows included Eats, Beats and Rum Punch as well as Celebrity Chef Mash Up. Eats, Beats and Rum Punch featured Houston’s own Keisha Griggs and chef Tavel Bristol Joseph who put a unique twist on Caribbean staples while Equiano Rum founder Ian Burrell created flavorful island-inspired cocktails. Celebrity Chef Mash Up, however, went to war with dishes inspired by favorite artists, partnering savory dishes with signature Tequila 13 cocktails.

In between the guest speakers, culture and food, fans were blessed with some of the greatest vocalists in the Black community. This included Houston’s own Inayah along with Dende, DJ Spinall, Chloe Bailey, Tobe Nwigwe, Summer Walker and Miguel.

These performers had live dancers, full bands and plenty of props.

Jae Murphy hosted the night with his lively DJ set, keeping the audience dancing and vibing throughout. During the show, the hosts encouraged the audience to get on their feet and live in the moment, even inspiring a twerk contest that brought the audience’s hype even higher.

As the sun set, fans chanted for performers such as Chloe Bailey, Summer Walker and Miguel.

Each performer brought their own unique culture and musical style to the stage. Although these artists may come from different subgenres, they all are connected through their culture and their love of music.

As the sun set and headliner Miguel played his last song, festival goers began the long walk back to the vehicles, reminiscing of the day’s events, festivities and counting their swag.

Although the day was long and tiring, smiling faces and excitement could still be seen as the fans recounted experiences and shared who they would like to see for Sunday’s lineup.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Honeyland Festival with Cooglife! And check out our gallery from day one shot by Alina Velasquez below.

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