Essence Festival Helps Keep New Orleans Afloat

Essence magazine's annual music festival helps sustain New Orleans tourism and economy, despite the oil spill.

Despite the worst oil spill in history, New Orleans has seen a steady flow of convention traffic and a high volume of visitors virtually throughout the 2 1/2-month period of the disaster. This is odd for NOLA tourism because it is normally a slower time of year. 35,000 rooms are booked for the weekend because of the Essence Music Festival, spill relief workers and the National Education Association’s 15,000-delegate conference. This is helping to dispel the myth that the city has been shut down by the oil spill. Performers at the music fest include Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Earth, Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight and Alicia Keys. Hopefully the music will drown out the BP representatives who still can’t manage to fix the spill.