Essence Festival delivers record-breaking crowd

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 7 at 6:26 PM

Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS -- The 2014 Essence Festival went out with a bang as the show wrapped up with a record-breaking crowd.
 
Five hundred fifty thousand made their way to the dome to see more than eighty acts perform or to the convention center where celebrity panels were filled to capacity.
 
Organizers said the 20th anniversary had a more communal aspect to it than years past.
 
“For us the highlight is the deep community collaborations we created that hopefully have left a lasting impact on the city," said Joy Profet, General Manager of Essence. 
 
“This city is just spectacular," said Michelle Ebanks, Essence Director of Communications. "It ran so efficiently. The people at the festival felt at home. The crowds were large, but everyone was so happy."
 
The city addressed the issue of security after a 21-year old woman was killed after a shootout on Bourbon Street on June 29. 
 
All eyes were on Bourbon Street where dozens of state and local police patrolled in heavy force.
The mayor wants more involvement from both the state and federal government on the issue of security.
 
“They should honor their responsibility to stand shoulder to shoulder with the no police department to make sure our citizens are safe, and I keep speaking to them about that issue," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. 
 
As the group plans the 21st year, the question still stands on what happens next.
Organizers say it starts with working the original formula.
 
“How do we top it?” Ebanks said. “We collaborate they way we did the years before."

And that means more star power, and more giving back. 

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