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Essence Festival sets new attendance record in New Orleans with nearly 500,000

(July 13, 2015) Nearly a half million attendees converged upon New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend for the 2015 ESSENCE Festival, one of the country's largest live events. The annual four-day event, which took place July 2-5, featured entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences.

Additionally, for the first time the ESSENCE Festival reached tens of thousands of fans around the world via 100 hours of produced live-stream content. More than 100 hours of programming including 24 hours daily of streaming video garnering more than 200,000 Live Stream views covering select performances and daily talk show ESSENCE Live.

Over 100,000 social media posts created over 1.5 billion impressions and resulted in trending status on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as first-time Twitter Periscope celebrity guest segments. Explosive growth was reported in festival fansí mobile usage, with page views up by 80% and unique visitors growing 132% year over year -- largely due to 80% increase in video consumption year-over-year.

The festival boasted more than 80 of the most popular entertainers including Kevin Hart, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Common and Kendrick Lamar. Over 120 speakers, authors, leaders and celebrities including Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Steve Harvey, Keke Palmer, Kelly Rowland, Jussie Smollett and Rev. Al Sharpton participated in the Festival's free daytime experience.

For a full recap of all the exciting moments from the 21st annual ESSENCE Festival, visit ESSENCE.com and log in to the ESSENCE Festival microsite for footage highlights.

The 2015 ESSENCE Festival is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2015 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience and ESSENCE Empower U.  Sponsors of the 2015 ESSENCE Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald's, Samsung, State Farm, Verizon, and Walmart.  Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford, Verizon and Walmart. The All-Star Gospel Tribute is sponsored by Walmart.


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