*The ESSENCE Festival was held in New Orleans over the Fourth of July weekend and brought out over 540,000 people from around the world. This marked the largest turnout in the event’s 19-year history.
The 2013 ESSENCE festival gave attendees a celebration that featured both entertainment and empowerment events with more than 50 world renowned and up-and-coming performing acts and over 120 of the world’s top artists, speakers, authors, leaders, innovators and celebrities.
“The ESSENCE Festival has grown to represent the tremendous joy and optimism that is present in the African-American community,” said ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks. “We celebrate our community of ESSENCE readers at the ESSENCE Festival—where we come together to connect to our culture and our community—and be renewed, inspired and transformed. This year’s record-breaking attendance is a testament to our purpose. We are extremely excited as we look forward to our 20th anniversary in 2014.”
“What a thrill to witness the overwhelming response from hundreds of thousands of attendees as we took ‘the page to the stage’ at the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience,” said ESSENCE’s top editor, Vanessa K. Bush. “Focusing on family, relationships, culture and community, ESSENCE programs the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage each year to provide critical information, motivation, inspiration and practical solutions for the day-to-day challenges of our lives.”
Highlights of the 2013 ESSENCE Festival included:
An incredible performance by Beyonce to a packed Superdome stadium to close out the Festival, plus headliners Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Brandy, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole and many others – comprising more than 50 R&B, pop, and soul artists across 5 stages each night at the Superdome.
The All-New ESSENCE Family Reunion Day hosting more than 55,000 people in Woldenberg Park featuring empowerment panels, family-friendly games and activities, exciting musical guests, delicious food from New Orleans’ best barbecue vendors, cooking competitions, fireworks and exciting musical guests.
An expanded 4-day ESSENCE Empowerment Experience at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – with participation from more than 120 speakers and attracting attendance of more than 100,000 people each day.
First-ever partnership with MSNBC to broadcast live throughout the weekend from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, featuring shows PoliticsNation and Melissa Harris Perry, among others.
Read more at the Sacramento Bee.