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What You Said: What ESSENCE Festival Meant To Me

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Essence Festival Sign

From the performances on the Superdome mainstage to the speakers on the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience stage, ESSENCE Festival attendees couldn't get enough of all that the event had to offer. Readers took to Facebook to share some of their most memorable moments and we rounded up our favorites. Read them now and share yours below in the Comments section.

"LOVED IT! Thanks for allowing me to escape my life of stress for a few hours. I was able to forget about mom's struggle with cancer for a few minutes. Thank you for bringing joy to this city. Empowerment, Awareness, Wisdom, Knowledge, Experience. I too see my people, the people, any person with a smile on his/her face. I had one on mine and I was able to go home and share my experience with mom. It even brought a smile to her face." -Christy

"Where can you find intellectual stimulation, soul-soothing inspiration, tastebud tingling dishes and music that causes total eargasms?  Only at the greatest festival on earth! ESSENCE once again put together a dream line-up of all things empowering. Feeding all who attend with strength, pride and fearlessness." -Shuray

"First time for the wife and I. This was an 11th anniversary celebration for us and looks like we'll be doing the same for our 12th! We had a blast. We had so many laughs, we loved hard and we partied hard! The concerts, seminars, parties equals awesome. Much needed QT for us. Great job ESSENCE. Looking forward to next year!"-Gerard 

"#EssenceFest 2013 was another great success. My husband and I have been to 15 of the 19 years they've had it. We are devoted fans! The only reason we missed was because of family reunions held during the same time period. We always bring new people with us and this year we brought a party bus. Needless to say, they are hooked! We can't wait until 2014 for the 20th ESSENCE Festival."-Patsy 

"I have always been proud of being Black and my experience at the ESSENCE Festival enforces that. It was an awesome and motivational experience to be surrounded by such positivity. The Convention Center was a delight with all the activities and not to mention all the great people we met and the delicious food choices. Also, all the entertainers at the Superdome were just so satisfying. I cannot wait to visit the city of New Orleans again. I must add Beyonce Knowles Carter wowed me, this young lady is ahead of the game! Thanks ESSENCE Festival for all that you do. My best wishes to all involved in making this such a wonderful experience!"-Lynda 

"I got to spend one on one time with my daughter. I am a foster/adoptive parent of 3 special needs children with a disabled husband and an Autistic adult son. My daughter is only 19 but she always strives to do her best at the seminars. The convention center activities were phenomenal and motivated her so much that she won a prize with Coca-a-Cola. We definitely want to come back in 2014. Thanks again ESSENCE for the beautiful experience."-Tracey 

"I had a blast! I surprised my sister for her birthday. Our original plans was to attend all three days, but finances interrupted our plans. Last year was my first year and I felt like my sister and two other friends needed an ESSENCE initiation. I have made a commitment to attend every year from now until forever and I will try my best to initiate someone each year! Keep up the great work ESSENCE!"-Tahanna 

"We enjoyed the ESSENCE Experience Thursday through Sunday. New Edition sang and moved like they used to. They were great and we all know that Charlie Wilson brought it. Beyonce put the icing on the cake, but I must say the tribute to Tremaine Hawkins and Donnie McCurklin touched my soul. The performances were wonderful on Sunday. I really need to write down all the people we saw this weekend so I won't forget. Can't wait for next year. I am so happy for the father that won the new car. ESSENCE this weekend was a great experience!"-Cassandra 

"The night started by witnessing the sexy voices of TGT on main state. The smooth voice of Luke James in the Superlounge, Tamia, Mint Condition followed by the electric Janelle Monae and ending with a bang by Beyonce! ESSENCE was everything and more I expected it to be! Thank you #EssenceFest"-Tina 

"The best kept Black secret. Where were the ratchets, dealers, killers, and overly religious people that we've been labeled as? Nowhere. The 2013 ESSENCE Festival hosted nearly half a million of the most beautiful and classy Black people that our culture has to offer. From Bourbon Street nightclubs to the empowering booths at the convention center, my people showed how warm, confident, fun and intelligent we've always been; never forgetting a please, thank you or compliment to one another. Besides my initial ratchet question — the only other mystery served up by the 19th Annual ESSENCE Festival is: why was I not made aware of this sooner?"-Dorothy 

"I had a fabulous time at ESSENCE Festival 2013. The ESSENCE Day Party was on-point, I got my old school dance on while Doug E. Fresh performed and also enjoyed new school sounds with Wale. Also the concert on Saturday and Sunday on the main stage was great. I am looking forward to ESSENCE Festival 2014. Be sure to bring back the ESSENCE Day Party because that was FABULOUS!"-Felicia 

"This was my first time in New Orleans and I had a ball! I only saw Friday's show. I'm a huge Brandy fan and she rocked it! The Whitney tribute was the highlight for me"-Latisha 

"The best! Hail queen Bey! I truly enjoyed MSNBC at the convention center keeping our people informed on the Trayvon trial. I met Reverend Al Sharpton and Joy Ann. The fun is important, but so is our business and politics. We have to keep our dream alive."-Anaijia Wilder 

"This was the best ESSENCE experience. Maxwell was great and Mrs. Carter was awesome with her stellar performance. Her wardrobe, effects, visual and sound was extraordinary. I enjoyed myself to the fullest and look forward to participating at the 20 year celebration next year."-Carolyn 

"So it was 10:30 pm. Most subjects were in their seats anxiously awaiting Queen B aka Mrs. Carter to make her presence known in the beyhive. Everyone had their phones out, waiting to capture the moment. Seconds go by... then minutes... approximately 40. This queen has earned the right to be fashionably late. Most of her subjects sat there and did not move and waited patiently. Yes, the dome officially became the beyhive once her voice came over those speakers. Everyone jumped out of their seats and screamed like they lost their minds. We did! #Beyonce experience."-Christy 

Filed Under: What You Said
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