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Kandi Burruss, from left, LaTocha Scott, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Tamika Scott, of Xscape, arrive at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The long-anticipated reunion of Xscape was such a hot ticket at the Essence Fest on Sunday that fire officials and added police security were called to the scene.

Tameka “Tiny” Harris, Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss and LaTocha Scott took the stage together for the first time in 15 years at the Essence Superlounge, one of Essence Fest’s side stages at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But according to, organizers were blindsided by the size of the crowd awaiting entry. Hundreds of fans crowded the entrance, hallways and exit lanes outside the Superlounge, prompting organizers to call for extra police security.

Eventually, the fire department showed up…with bad news.

At around 8:45 p.m., Captain Michael Flot announced that the venue was filled to capacity and no one else would be allowed in.


Outside the lounge, Xscape fans were growing frustrated. Many people had bought tickets for Essence to see the R&B group reunite onstage.

“XScape main stage! XScape main stage! XScape main stage!” the crowd chanted in an attempt to have XScape rescheduled to the main stage, where there were many empty seats available as Trombone Shorty performed.

New Orleans Police Captain Ernest Demma said he had worked more than 20 Essence Festivals and this crowd was bigger than any he had ever seen outside of a Superlounge.

Officers had already formed a human wall outside the Superlounge’s doors by the time XScape took the stage inside. One of them made use of a megaphone to try and clear out the crowd, nearly half an hour after Xscape was set to perform.

“You will be able to see XScape’s performance on the main stage,” he said. “Please return to your seats.”

Many in the crowd took that to mean the live performance would be moved: People ran, friends called friends to let them know and the crowd nearly cleared. Around 30 loyal and skeptical fans held firm in their spots outside the door.

Demma explained to a | The Times-Picayune reporter that the show would actually be streamed live to the screens at the main stage, and XScape would continue their performance inside the Superlounge.

Inside, XScape took the stage and sang “Do You Want To,” paid homage to MC Lyte with “Keep On Keepin’ On” and, of course, “Who Can I Run To.”

“In the last 15 minutes, the plan became to draw as many people away as possible,” NOFD Captain Flot said. “We did what we had to do to displace the crowd.”

Eventually the holdouts were rewarded and allowed to calmly enter the Superlounge one by one, just two songs into Xscape’s delayed performance. The R&B group belted their hits to the excited room, which had dipped well below capacity by then.

Man is was pandemonium outside our lounge, fights broke out because it was too many ppl that paid to get in but the fire marshal shut our lounge down. Sorry to everyone that didn’t get in. It’s a Blessings that u guys all came out to see us & we thank u for your love & support. I hear we got played on the main stage screen cause of all the complaints! Sorry again! We love yall. God is Good!! 🙏🏽👑

A post shared by Majorgirl (@majorgirl) on Jul 2, 2017 at 9:20pm PDT

Watch a clip from their performance below:

Here’s their pre-performance interview:

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7 thoughts on “Xscape Reunion Draws Fire Marshals At Essence Fest

  1. specialt757 on said:

    Yeah Kates I recorded it to see Bruno and N.E.’s performances and I saw Xscape and stopped to watch and I felt embarrassed for them. Something tells me these ladies think they have to compete with the millennials, having all these body enhancements. However, they’re “legends” in their own rights. Most of us know all the lyrics to all their songs and we knew them as sweet and mostly respectable female R&B group. Now I see them as trying so hard to remain relevant that they have ruined their image and now instead of listening to them sing, we concentrate on their clothes and body, not a good thing and I don’t get it either.

    • Dee Dee on said:

      I totally agree. Never a big fan of them but I still supported young black women making positive moves. However everyone isn’t going to stay relevant and when your time to fade out of the spot light you should use common sense and bask in your glory days. Kandi has the most God awful voice I have heard in ages. Please ladies there is so much more you can do and people will remember you for your humanitarian efforts. They should have definitely went to the gym before their performance it may have also helped with the vocals.

      • specialt757 on said:

        “Kandi has the most God awful voice I have heard in ages” Girllllllll now that is the truth.
        She’s worse than Seven Streeter (she murders her own hit called “It won’t stop ft. Chris Brown), I saw her perform live on the newer Arsenio Hall show (short-lived), I couldn’t believe she was a real singer, she was absolutely thee worst! lol

  2. If their performance on the BET Awards show is any indication, the main stage was no place for them and no one should be mad about the show tanking, they should consider themselves lucky. The main reason I recorded the show was to watch the reunion. They looked and sounded atrocious. Can someone please explain to me why women think these big, outsized gorilla asses are attractive. I just don’t get it.

  3. specialt757 on said:

    Okay so I’m just going to gone ahead and say it, I was horrified at these people on the BET awards show. Gosh, I can’t imagine 20 years ago, these ladies looked into their future and saw their future selves on this show dressing and sounding like they did. Smh, and that one with the grey and “diamond” cat suit, lawd help me for sounding like a hater, but that was gawd awful, uggh. Sorry Xscape fans, gotta tell it like it T I is.

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