Beyoncé breaks Superdome attendance record at the 2013 Essence Festival. Signs posted on the windows of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome box office announced that tickets to Sunday night’s show were completely sold out – one of few sell-outs in the Essence Fest’s 19 year history. Clearly, Beyoncé drove those sales.
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Janet Jackson made headlines when she shattered Knowles’ attendance record during the 16th Essence Music Festival, held from July 2 to July 4, 2010, commanding a history-making 72,668 member audience, which completely sold out the Louisiana Superdome with a first-ever waiting list for the Festival.
Beyoncé and her crew charged through “If I Were A Boy” (which borrows the hook from The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony”), “Get Me Bodied,” “Naughty Girl,” “I Care,” “Why Don’t You Love Me,” “1 + 1,” a semi-acoustic “Irreplaceable,” “Love on Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” and “Grown Woman.”
She opened the encore alone, silhouetted in a spotlight, wailing the opening verse and chorus of “I Will Always Love You.” “Sing so Whitney can hear you,” she instructed, before seguing into her own “Halo.” After soliciting shout-outs for her musicians and dancers, she called it a night.
Until “Crazy in Love,” much of the audience spent more time sitting down than Beyonce would have liked. “It took me a while to warm ya’ll up,” she said. “You’re standing now. I feel good about that.”