The 2018 Essence Music Festival ended Sunday as one of its most successful yet. Of course, the #EssenceFest hashtag took over social media due to thought-provoking events with Reverend Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin‘s mother Sybrina Fulton, Angela Rye and Maxine Waters. Plus, there were performances from Brandy, Janet Jackson and the queen of New Orleans bounce (and twerking!), Big Freedia. However, the festival also broke some serious records.
In its 24th year, Essence Fest brought more than 510,000 attendees to New Orleans this past weekend, according to NOLA.com. That was the second-largest number in the festival’s history. The largest was 550,000, which happened during the 20th anniversary. However, TimesUnion.com reported for the first time in the festival’s history all three nights of Superdome concerts were completely sold out. Although that wasn’t immediately confirmed, there were also reports on Twitter that 2018 Essence Music Festival generated $1 billion in revenue for New Orleans.
Huge congratulations to Essence, proving the enormous power of the Black dollar. Or, to be more specific, Black women’s spending power.
“Despite making up only 14 percent of the country’s female population, the roughly 24.3 million Black women are trendsetters and brand loyalists who play a vital role in influencing mainstream culture in fashion, beauty, television, music and civic engagement for women of all races,” HuffPost reported last year. Black women are setting the trends, so as Madame Noire says, listen to Black women!
Watch the legendary Waters, a true queen, in the video below: