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Beychella: One Year Later

By Arlett Ramirez
Web Content Contributor

April 14 marks one year since Beyoncé’s iconic performance at Coachella, a.k.a “Beychella.” Most of us saw the performance on a live stream or snippets on social media. If you were one of the lucky and blessed few that got to see the performance live just know that I’m extremely jealous and that you witnessed history. Let me correct that, her-story.

Beyoncé was expected to perform at Coachella in 2017 but she postponed it due to doctor’s concerns with her pregnancy with twins. Lady Gaga headlined the festival in 2017 instead. Beyoncé announced she would perform in 2018 and people began calling it “Beychella.” She became the first black woman ever to headline the festival.

I remember the anticipation and excitement people had waiting for her performance. I stayed up late just to watch it live on YouTube! Her performance became Coachella’s most viewed performance to date and the most watched live streamed performance of all time. Let me repeat that – all time!

When she came out in the yellow hoodie, denim shorts, and sparkly Christian Louboutin boots and started her set with such power and precision, I knew it would become a historic performance. Many were speculating how her performance would be since details had been very secretive. She performed a 26-song set to 125,000 concert-goers, including Rihanna.

Her husband Jay-Z, sister Solange, and former girl group Destiny’s Child joined her on stage to sing some big hits like “Crazy in Love” and “Say My Name.” Beyoncé became the third woman to headline the festival after Björk and Lady Gaga. Coachella 2019 brought out the pyramid stage featured in her performance for concert-goers to see. This year’s headliners were Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande.

What I admired about her performance (apart from her incredible dancing and singing abilities) is that she created an atmosphere of sisterhood. She didn’t have to bring out her sister Solange or the former members of Destiny’s Child, but she did. It’s beautiful to see that she doesn’t forget about the strong women she’s grown up with not only in her career but also in her personal life. If you remember, Beyoncé brought Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to her SuperBowl performance in 2013. Whenever Beyoncé is given a large platform she always invites Rowland and Williams because they are her sisters. It’s feminism – supporting the women who helped you on the path to success.

Her performance was also a tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). During the performance, she had a full marching band play during the majority of her set along with majorette dancers. The band sampled songs that are known to be played at HBCUs along with gospel and go-go music. Did you know that the band members were actual students from various HBCUs? Imagine putting that on your resume, that you performed at Beychella? Iconic. She also incorporated aspects of Greek life with her yellow hoodie with “B Δ K” and with a step show.

Netflix recently announced that they’ll be releasing a documentary titled Homecoming which will show Beychella from creative concept to a cultural movement. Yet, in true Beyoncé fashion when Netflix cryptically tweeted out the announcement some thought it couldn’t be Beyoncé yet others thought it was. In the end, they were right because it was Beyoncé. Viewers will get to see behind the scenes, rehearsals and set construction before her performance.

You can watch the trailer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB8qvx0HOlI

Homecoming will be released on April 17, 2019. I can speak for myself when I say that I’ll be watching it the day it’s released and I might even try to learn the choreography.

Featured illustration by Arlett Ramirez

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