Beyoncé acklowledged the historical significance of her headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival from the California festival stage on Saturday night (April 14). 

“Coachella, thanks for allowing me to be the first Black woman to headline,” she said in the middle of her performance. “Ain’t that ‘bout a bitch?”


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Apr 15, 2018 at 9:31am PDT

Bey’s set celebrated the legacy of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the Black musicians that influenced her and her own personal history. You’ll be hard-pressed to find high-quality clips from the performance, but Vulture cataloged these highlights: 

  • An HBCU Greek life tribute, complete with an initation ceremony, step dancers and a nearly 200-person marching band
  • A reunion with Destiny’s Child bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, who performed a medley including ”Say My Name” and “Lose My Breath” 
  • A dance-off with sister Solange Knowles on “Get Me Bodied”
  • A brief cameo from husband Jay-Z on “Deja Vu”
  • Segues that featured songs like “Lilac Wine,” “Strange Fruit,” “You Don’t Love Me” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” 

While you wait for the hopeful release of the full performance video (she has another performance at the festival’s second weekend, on April 21), we invite you to revisit Beychella with these five articles and other media:

Beyoncé x Balmain = Best Coachella Homecoming Ever“ 
By Maiysha Kai, The Root/The Glow Up

Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, turned heads during Paris Fashion Week with his militaristic take on glamour for Fall 2018. Stylist Marni Senofonte was especially impressed, approaching Rousteing to create custom looks for Beychella Beyoncé’s groundbreaking Coachella appearance—Bey being the first woman of color to ever headline the event.”

Amen! Beyoncé’s Coachella Performance Was The Ultimate Celebration Of HBCUs And Black Women
By Yolanda Sangweni, Essence

Keeping with the theme of being super authentic to her experience as a Black woman, Beyoncé played the snippet of Malcolm X’s famous “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself” speech that she featured in “Lemonade.”

“The most disrespected woman in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the Black woman,” says the late leader.

Twitter Thread from journalist Christiana Amarachi Mbakwe:

Beyoncé’s Coachella performance wasn’t just pure entertainment. It was a historic cultural moment.”
By Elahe Izadi, The Washington Post

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.”

Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella was an unapologetic celebration of Black womanhood in the least likely of places.” 
By Tori Oredein, The Independent

“When Beyonce stepped onto the Coachella stage, she seemingly had three intentions: to cement her position as the greatest entertainer of this generation, to bring Black culture to the fore and to deliver a masterclass in Black female empowerment. I think anyone who watched her set can agree that those intentions were transferred seamlessly into reality.”