Essence Fest

Thousands gather in New Orleans for one of the country’s largest music festivals

July 09, 2008 at 1:50 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Keisha Knight-Pulliam
Photo by Shonna Riggs
Keisha Knight-Pulliam
The star-studded Essence Festival hit the stage in New Orleans last weekend giving St. Charles Parish residents something different to experience just a few miles down the road.

The festival was held at the Superdome from July 4 through 6 and featured rhythm and blues recording artists like Keisha Cole, Avant, Mary J. Blige, Morris Day and the Time Band, Frankie Beverly, Maze and other musical artists.

Along with a comedic performance by Chris Rock and a tribute to music legend Patti Labelle, with a performance by New Orleans fixture Irma Thomas.

And just when it seemed the amazing performances and daytime seminars were enough to satisfy any appetite, Essence snuck in a few surprise guests like former child star Keisha Knight-Pulliam, who warmed our hearts when she played little Rudy Huxtable on the 80s sitcom The Cosby Show.

"I really love New Orleans and the Essence Festival," Knight-Pulliam said. "I'm currently working on the cast of Tyler Perry's comedy series the House of Payne, show on TBS."

Knight-Pulliam says that there are no plans for a Cosby reunion show, much to the disappointment of fans.

"Mr. Cosby has been adamant about not doing a reunion show," she said. "We've made appearances as a group on the Oprah Winfrey show, but he could change his mind one day you never know."

Pulliam who turned 29 this year says she doesn't care if people know her age.

"If you look good and take care of yourself, it doesn't matter what your age is," she said. "So when people ask me how old I am, I'm proud to tell them I'm 29."

The night ended with Frankie Beverly and Maze rounding out the sound stage with hits like "Joy and Pain," and all time classic performance dedicated to Southern girls.

Next year’s headliner will be up-and-coming music legend Beyonce, who once shared the stage with the 3-girl pop sensation Destiny's Child.

Tickets went on sale for next year's show immediately following the 2008 final performance.

Ticket prices this year ranged from $56 to $72 in the stands, with floor seats costing between $83 and $110 per ticket.

Tickets sell fast because this is a popular festival. So get them early for Essence Festival 2009. Call 1-800-488-5252.

Irma Thomas

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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