Saturday, August 23, 2014

20th Annual Essence Music Festival

I had no clue what to expect before attending my first Essence Festival. It was a great time and I already plan to attend again next year. I arrived in New Orleans on Friday at 6:15 a.m. Below is a recap of the mini trip.

Day 1
During the day we attended the events at the convention center. There were tons of people everywhere. The day was filled with surprises and opportunities to meet celebs. We stood in several lines to collect freebies that were being given away. I took a photo with Lance Gross at the StateFarm booth. McDonald's was giving away mini strawberry smoothies, Monopoly games, reusable bags, and hosting an audience fashion show. The Coca Cola booth was having a big house party with a dance floor that was playing all the ole school feel good jams. We stood in line to get our free cans of coke with our names on it.

Prince requested everyone wear purple so we dressed in our purple attire. When we entered the stadium Janelle Monae was on stage. She started singing one of my favorites, "Primetime". We hadn't even found our seats but I had stopped in he middle of the breezeway to start singing the song. In my mind, I was the back up singer.

Before the next performer came out Dougie Fresh had us jamming' to all the classic songs. Everybody across the packed stadium was rocking'. We stood in front of our seats and danced to every song. When Prince made it to the stage at 11:30, we were warmed up and ready for the funk.

It was my first time ever seeing Prince in concert. I was glad I got a chance to be in the building. At the end of his set, Prince left the stage, but no one moved. Everyone just started humming "Purple Rain". It was as if everyone was saying you can't perform without doing that song. After a continuous hum, Prince came back and gave us what we asked for. He had like four outros. Each time the audience wanted more. We he finally exited the stage at 1:30 We still looked at the stage wondering whether he was going to give us more or whether that was really the finale.

Day 2
We went back to the convention because there was still so much we had not done or seen. I got a chance to sit in on Stevie Harvey and Nichols launching their Act Like A Success program. They shared some motivating and encouraging tips for kick starting the dream or business venture.

When we left the convention center we made our way to Neyows Restaurant for some local New Orleans food. It was a cozy place right off from the French Quarters. The food was good. I ordered fish and potatoes.

We rode the trolley through the french Quarter area and walked around the area.

Day 3

I boarded my bus at 9 am to head back to reality.

Check out the vlogs from the trip on my youtube channel ibylvlogs.

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