New York, NY (FNN NEWS) – Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) 2016 ESSENCE Festival, presented by Coca-Cola, attracted more than 450,000 attendees to New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend for its annual cultural celebration featuring more than 100 performing artists and over 100 speakers—which included first-time appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland and many more. Recognized as one of the country’s largest live events, the 2016 ESSENCE Festival hosted more celebrities and performing talent than ever before, extended its reach worldwide by capturing a record-breaking 3.5 billion social media impressions and delivered over 100 hours of curated video and live-stream content. The annual 4-day Festival, which took place June 30-July 3, features entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences during the day and the world’s best performers each night.
Highlights of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival include:
- Over 100 performing artists—more than ever before across the Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Many of the biggest names in the entertainment industry such as Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, Maxwell, Puff Daddy & The Family, Common and Ciara performed at the event’s nighttime concerts and dozens of others across ESSENCE’s Center Stage and All-Star Gospel Tribute honoring The Clark Sisters.
- More than 100 speakers, authors, leaders and celebrities participated in the Festival’s free daytime experience –including a first-ever appearance by Oprah Winfrey to a standing-room only crowd. Other first-time speakers included Tyra Banks and Misty Copeland and the return of perennial favorites Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop T.D. Jakes, among others, drew packed crowds.
- The launch of two new consumer Expos, ‘Beauty & Style’ and ‘Entrepreneurship, Money & Power,’ which extended the Festival’s daytime footprint by more than 125,000 square feet within the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, drawing passionate crowds of thousands each day.
- The expansion of ‘Entertainment All-Access’, offering fans more access to Hollywood’s A-list celebrities than ever before, as well as exclusive first-looks at the hottest movies, TV shows and cast talk-backs in the ESSENCE Screening Room.
- More than 100 hours of digital programming including first-time live-stream of the ESSENCE Empowerment Stage content and video on demand garnering over 500,000 views.
- Over 113,000 social media posts driving more than 3.5 billion impressions with trending status on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Programming and cultural exchange between Durban, South Africa and sister city New Orleans, featuring an exclusive preview of ESSENCE Festival Durban, the first international edition of the Festival set to take place in Durban, South Africa November 8-13, 2016.
For a full recap of all the exciting moments from the 2016 ESSENCE Festival, visit ESSENCE.com.
The 2016 ESSENCE Festival is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI), and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2016 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience.
Sponsors of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm, Verizon, and Walmart. Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford and Walmart. The All Star Gospel Tribute is sponsored by Walmart.