Record Breaking: Essence Festival Audience Larger Than Ever Thanks To “Girls Trip”

It’s literally the largest festival in the world and this year Essence Festival made new milestones with over 510,000 attendees in New Orleans for the four-day gathering during the July 4th holiday weekend. That number broke previous Essence Festival records, making it the largest of the festivals in the event’s 24-year history.

If that wasn’t enough, for the first time ever, all three nights of the Essence Festival concert series at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome were sold out!

SWV performs on the main stage

Between the nightly concerts at the Superdome and the expo events at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, there were more than over 100 performing artists throughout the weekend.

Headliners this year included Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; and The Roots featuring Jill Scott and Erykah Badu with surprise guests Anthony Hamilton and Kirk Franklin.

Teddy Riley performs on the main stage

Additional main stage performers included Xscape; Snoop Dogg with surprise guests Fred Hammond, John P. Kee and The Clark Sisters; Queen Latifah featuring Missy Elliott, Salt N PepaRemy Ma, Yo-Yo, Brandy and others; Miguel; Fantasia with surprise guest K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci; Teddy Riley featuring SWV, Blackstreet, Guy, Keith Sweat, Tank, Ginuwine and others; and Doug E. Fresh with various guests.

In addition to a variety of Superlounge performances as well, there was also the 10th Anniversary All-Star Gospel Tribute this year honoring Dottie Peoples.

Make no mistakes about it; Essence is well aware that the film “Girls Trip” is the best thing that could have ever happened to this festival. The movie starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith and breakout star Tiffany Haddish gave this already successful festival a boost that it could have never anticipated.

(All photos used courtesy of Essence Communications)

Both Tank and Missy Elliott perform on the main stage

VIDEO: Check out some additional sights and scenes from the 2018 Essence Festival!

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