NEW ORLEANS (CelebrityAccess) — More than half a million fans turned out this year for the 4-day Essence Festival, which is in New Orleans over the 4th of July holiday weekend, marking one of the best-attended events in the festival’s 24-year history.
This year also was the first time all three nights of the festival’s concert series at the Louisiana Superdome were completely sold out, organizers for the festival announced.
This year, the festival featured more than 100 performers at the Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, with headliners including Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Miguel.
This year, Essence also featured a rebranded daytime Conference & Expos’ with programming across eight tracks spanning Beauty & Style to Business & Entrepreneurship. Powerhouse speakers included Lena Waithe, Lester Holt, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell as well as political figures such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Iyanla Vanzant, among others.
Elevated VIP events and programs for attendees at this year’s festival included the launch of the ‘Essence House’ at the Ace Hotel, as well as the debut of the ‘E-Suite’ which provided attendees with access to career and business programming.
The 2018 Essence Festival is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI), and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2018 Essence Empowerment Experience.
Sponsors of the 2018 Essence Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors AT&T, Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm and Walmart.