The Essence Festival marked its 20th anniversary by setting a record for annual attendance with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community and black culture at the Superdome and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
That's about 10,000 more people than attended the 2013 festival, which included a sold-out performance by Beyoncé. Organizers say the 2014 festival has earned the distinction of being the largest gathering in its history.
This week on Inside the Arts, the 20th Essence Festival kicks off Independence weekend. We catch up with Prince protégé, singer Elisa Fiorillo Dease, who will perform with the pop icon in the Superdome.
The party with a purpose, Essence, continues with activities in the Morial Convention Center. We talk with author Jason Mott. His bestseller, The Returned, is the basis for the hit ABC TV series, Resurrection.
And, we round out with a song that takes a look at the World Cup through the eyes of the players.
This year’s Essence Festival will be enhancing the empowerment component of the event that’s become known as the “party with a purpose.” The 20th annual Essence Festival includes the kickoff of a national drive to help minority entrepreneurs succeed.
Dearly beloved, we will gather at Essence Music Festival on July 4th to get down with this man named Prince. Electric word “Prince” — it means “genius” and that’s a mighty big title, but I’m here to tell you: nothing compares to the Purple One.
“I don’t have a favorite era. It’s like saying ‘Which is your favorite child.’ Different eras, different songs fit different parts of your life, so I can’t say I have a favorite.”
Clinic executive director explains the scheduling change this year.
More than a thousand people are expected to get free medical care today from a non-profit setting up at the Convention Center. It was moved up earlier than usual this year because of the Essence Festival.
The Essence Festival runs July 4 to 7 in New Orleans, with speakers at the convention center and musical acts at the Superdome. It also fills up clubs and other venues around town at night. Nola.com and Times-Picayune music writer Alison Fensterstock gave WWNO some notes on what she’s looking forward to at this year’s Essence.