Verizon’s Now Playing Tour, a mini-music festival, made its final stop at their Inglewood location in Los Angeles on Saturday. The event, hosted by Terrence J., served to create excitement for the upcoming ESSENCE Music Festival. In addition, it encouraged concert-goers to take action against domestic violence by donating old phones and accessories to HopeLine®, a Verizon program that provides support to domestic violence organizations across the country. The program’s goal is to reach one million phone donations by the end of the year.

Maria Celina Condo, Senior Analyst for Multicultural Marketing for Southern California, believes that the festival significantly impacts many African American communities.

“It was a very logical fit to bring an event of this magnitude to the community that we served,” said Condo. “It’s really exciting to not only bring the artists, but to bring in our technology to show how Verizon can satisfy that passion for music. Any millennial can connect to the passion point of music. Through the sponsorship with ESSENCE, we are tying in music, our technology – the reliability of the Verizon network – and the speed of the content that we can give.”

On site were video and photo booths, celebrity meet-and-greats, device giveaways and a chance to win tickets to the ESSENCE festival. Many audience members were called up during intermissions between performances to play trivia games, requiring them to have an in-depth knowledge of hip-hop music and dance.

Verizon has a national sponsorship with the ESSENCE festival and is “proud to be a part of the largest celebration of African American music and culture,” according to the Verizon website.

“As part of the sponsorship, we decided to spread the love throughout the country with different African American communities and really show excited we are about our involvement with ESSENCE,” expressed Condo.

She also shared the HopeLine program’s involvement and how it is explicitly helping to bring an end to domestic violence.

“We are really devoted to ending domestic violence. We really do have a tie here with our HopeLine project… the proceeds from the donations can convert to money, and we do donations for shelters for domestic violence, and we also provide educational assistance for the shelters and for nonprofit organizations to make sure we spread the word to the young people that domestic violence is something that we really need to end,” she said.

Terrence J., a television performing artist and current host of E! News, believes the festival inspires many African American communities. “When you let artists like Wale perform in people’s backyard, it’s inspirational,” said Terrence. “Follow what you’re passionate about. If you chase after what people think you should do, you’ll never truly be happy and you’ll never truly be great at what you do.”

Terrence expanded on the belief that it does not matter what field people choose to go into, rather their passion about the field itself.

“It’s not because I’m better than anybody. I’m not tall, great looking, or strong. The reason I’m still here is because I’m so passionate about what I’m doing and you can’t stop me from doing it.”

He also shared that he is currently working with Queen Latifah’s production company to film an upcoming movie called Perfect Match and is involved in various other projects.