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Beyoncé’s Coachella performance wasn’t just pure entertainment; it was a historic cultural moment

“Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella.”

Those words from Beyoncé, uttered midway through her festival-headlining performance Saturday, were less a humble show of gratitude than a declaration. She interspersed her historically black college-themed performance – complete with drumline, majorettes and step-dancing – with a Destiny’s Child reunion and cameos by her sister, Solange and husband, Jay-Z.

Thanks to the Coachella livesteam, which repeated the performance Sunday for those who may have missed the initial concert, people all around the world could watch along. It became a major cultural event, rivaling her 2016 Super Bowl halftime performance.

While Beyoncé intended to entertain the live audience in Indio, California, the performance was clearly also meant to thrill an audience watching from afar.

Coachella has come to be known for an easygoing, boho aesthetic, with the stereotypical Coachella attendee a drunk white hipster wearing a Native American headdress and loads of glitter. On Friday, Vince Staples referred to the main stage as “the white people stage,” telling the crowd, “I know y’all don’t know who I am cause none of y’all look like me, but I don’t give a [expletive].”

By Saturday, Beyoncé claimed that space as her own – a DJ announced this was officially “Beychella.”

For her “Lemonade” tour, Beyoncé had elaborate set designs, featuring pools of water and video screens that breathed out actual fire. At Coachella, her backing of more than a hundred musicians and dancers in yellow and black, many wearing berets and placed in a pyramid formation on bleachers, was just as spectacular.

Beyoncé had basically created her own HBCU: the University of Beyoncé. The school colors: yellow and black (the yellow, a theme from

Article source: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/beyonces-coachella-performance-wasnt-just-pure-entertainment-it-was-a-historic-cultural-moment/

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