Belfast Telegraph

Xscape fans angry at small Essence Festival stage

Singer Kandi Burruss apologised to those who were unable to watch their set.

Xscape fans are demanding refunds from Essence Festival organisers after many were shut out from attending the reunited R&B group's show at the New Orleans, Louisiana event.

Bandmembers Kandi Burruss, Tameka 'Tiny' Cottle, and sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott were among the star-studded list of performers for the 2017 bash, which was billed as Xscape's first full show in over 15 years, and a number of devotees specially purchased passes to the Essence Festival to witness their concert comeback.

However, ticketholders were left disappointed after learning the Just Kickin' It hitmakers would not be gracing the main stage on Sunday (02Jul17), and instead had been booked to play in the small Super Lounge room at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the four-day event took place over the weekend (29Jun17-02Jul17).

The third-floor space quickly filled to capacity, leaving hundreds out of luck, with venue officials even having to close down the area due to the huge crowds.

Fans promptly took to social media to complain about the poor scheduling decision and call on organisers to issue refunds.

"Dear Essence, y'all kinda f**ked up not putting Xscape on the main stage," one angry attendee posted on Twitter. "There's a borderline stampede out here to get into their lounge."

"Really p**sed.. We can't get into the Essence Lounge to see. I bought tixs (tickets) ONLY for them tonight #Xscape #EssenceFest2017," shared another fan, as a fellow angry customer tweeted, "@Essence I want a refund. People only came today for #xscape ... yall f**kin tried it (sic)".

Essence Festival representatives have yet to respond to the uproar, but Kandi took to Instagram after the show to share one of the messages from disgruntled concert-goers, and apologised to those who couldn't get in.

"Wow! Tonight was crazy!," she wrote. "Thank you to everyone who tried to come watch our show tonight. We hate that we couldn't perform for everyone but it was beyond our control. Thanks so much for the love!!!! It truly meant the world to us!"

The 2017 Essence Festival was headlined by Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, and Chance the Rapper, with other performers including John Legend, Solange, and Monica.

Xscape announced earlier this year (17) that all four original members were reuniting after a 12-year absence to record a new album and launch a tour. The comeback is reportedly being filmed for a TV docuseries, which will air on U.S. network Bravo.

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