Big names like Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliott hit the stage for this year’s ESSENCE Fest. More than half a million people attended the annual event, now in its 24th year, with all three nights of the festival sold out of the first time in its history.
Reviews of the event have poured in from across the internet as sites cover the performances and #blackgirlmagic of the festival.
Here’s a quick glimpse of what some of our peers had to say:
The Advocate reported on the Girls Trip effect, which had a massive influence on this year’s festival, and delved into how ESSENCE managed to package artists in a new way. ESSENCE magazine co-founder Ed Lewis told the publication, “There is something in the air, something happening. The word is going out that this is the place to be.”
Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas documented his first trip to ESSENCE Fest, which Luvvie Ajayi referred to as “Super Bowl for Black women.” Young noted, “When you see that many Black women all in one place, it gives you a greater appreciation for the vast diversity existing within them.”
Refinery29 shared a gallery of flawless women in attendance, documenting the beauty and diversity of the many women who showed up.
Billboard picked up Brandy’s “The Boy Is Mine” performance, where toward the end of the performance she changed the lyrics to the hit song to “the song is mine.”
And, BuzzFeed News reporter Sylvia Obell shared a piece on the much-needed recognition of transwomen in the space. Actor Angelica Ross and activist Raquel Willis discussed ways in which the festival could help create a safe space and uplift transgender women, a necessary conversation as the brand continues to build its legacy.