NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than 450,000 people showed up for this year’s Essence Festival, held over the Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans.
Singer Mariah Carey and Jermaine Dupri are seen at 2016 Essence Festival at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, July 2, 2016, in New Orleans. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)
The annual four-day cultural celebration featured more than 100 performers and more than 100 speakers, including first-time appearances by Oprah Winfrey, singer Mariah Carey, producer/rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs, model Tyra Banks and Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.
Crowds packed the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the daytime experience at the festival, presented by Coca-Cola. Two new consumer expos launched, “Beauty & Style” and “Entrepreneurship, Money & Power.”
Festival organizers also gave attendees a preview of Essence Festival Durban, the first international edition of the festival scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa, Nov. 8-13.