The 20th Annual ESSENCE Festival™ was bigger than ever and many of the weekend’s highlights came from McDonald’s. For three straight days, McDonald’s drew an upbeat crowd to the booth for dance contests, prizes, daily giveaways, games, performances, and celeb meet-and-greets. To top it all off, there were tasty samples of McCafé® Smoothies and plenty of McDonald’s/ESSENCE Festival™-themed tote bags that made McDonald’s the spot to be.
You couldn’t miss us! You either saw our booth, designed like the exterior of a restaurant, or heard DJ Skaz rocking out with new and old school jams that kept the party going. And to raise it up a notch, host LeToya Luckett kept the excitement high throughout the weekend with games and contests. She even brought out hip-hop group “We Are Toonz” to showcase one of the hottest dance crazes in the nation. In the midst of the hype, Luckett reminded the crowd to stay cool and refreshed by grabbing a sample of one of the McCafé Smoothies: Strawberry Banana, Mango Pineapple, or Blueberry Pomegranate. Through it all, people took to Twitter—using hashtag #365BlackEF—to share their excitement with @McDScene. There were also two big screens in the booth that displayed the tweets as they rolled in.
From beginning to end – from the booth to the main stage – it was a non-stop party for McDonald’s. Each day, hundreds of people gathered around the ESSENCE Main Stage for a surprise musical performance for the McDonald’s Sweet Chill Concert Series. To kick it off, on Friday we had NEXT and Keke Wyatt; Saturday, KEM melted hearts in the crowd; and Sunday, Angie Stone took us home. Not only did they perform hit after hit, they each did something a little special for the fans. A member from NEXT took a fan’s phone on stage and recorded a selfie video. Keke Wyatt walked the circular stage after her performance to shake hands and take pictures. KEM brought an enthusiastic fan on stage for a one-on-one slow dance. And Angie Stone kicked off her shoes and brought three fans on stage for a dance break. This concert series was definitely a treat for the people at the convention center!
McDonald’s rocked the house! And filled the convention center with the excitement that people of all ages enjoyed. At the end of the weekend, the convention center was filled with ladies fashioning 55,000 McDonald’s/ESSENCE Festival™-themed tote bags. Even more, our guests slurped down 48,000 McCafé Smoothie samples and were happy to receive 15,000 “be our guest” cards and $75,000 worth of McDonald’s Arch Cards.
No doubt, this year was bigger and better! If you missed out, start planning your trip now for next year or be on the lookout for a McDonald’s-sponsored sweepstakes for a chance for you and a friend to be McDonald’s special guests for the 2015 ESSENCE Festival™!