NEW ORLEANS – The 2012 Essence Music Festival drew 413,000 people to New Orleans for the four-day event held over the Fourth of July weekend.
Thats down 2 percent from the 422,000 who gathered for last years festival, when it ran for three days.
This was the 18th anniversary of the festival, which features nightly concerts and free, daily empowerment seminars and community events.
Country academy gives to hall of fame
The Academy of Country Music is donating $2.5 million to help expand the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The pledge is going to the Halls capital campaign to pay for the expansion.
The Hall is more than doubling in size, from 140,000 square feet to 350,000.
The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2014.