(AllHipHop News)Essence magazine's annual event in New Orleans always draws in thousands of attendees. However, the 2018 Essence Festival brought the largest crowd ever.
Over 510,000 people were reportedly in New Orleans for the Fourth Of July weekend. For the first time, all three nights of the Essence Festival concert series at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome were sold out.
Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Missy Elliott, Jill Scott, Miguel, and other acts performed during the four-day fest. Lena Waithe, Lester Holt, Angela Rye, Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Iyanla Vanzant, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell were among the more than 100 influencers to take part in the "Conference & Expos" programs.
“This extraordinary gathering of nearly half a million attendees - on the eve of the Essence Festival’s 25th anniversary - speaks to the unmatched convening power of our culture,” says Michelle Ebanks, President of Essence Communications. “As one of the country’s largest curated live experiences, the Essence Festival engages Black women globally - through a truly unique celebration of culture, connection to community and access to content that inspires and empowers.”
This year's Essence Festival was the first one following the release of the 2017 film Girls Trip. Malcolm D. Lee's comedy -starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish & Jada Pinkett Smith - was set during an Essence Festival and the cultural event was highly incorporated into the movie's plot.
Check out photos from the 2018 Essence Festival below.