The black power behind ‘iconic’ Beychella

Beyoncé’s Coachella performance – which took place over two weekends last April – marked the first time a black woman had headlined the festival.

The star pulled out all the stops, employing dozens of dancers and an elaborate marching band, acknowledging the importance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) – institutions established in the US before the 1964 Civil Rights Act to serve the black community that was shut out by predominantly white establishments.

  • The black power behind ‘iconic’ Beychella

Lavished with praise at the time, the release of the Netflix documentary has seen a second wave of acclaim.

“For some of us who were actually there at Coachella, there might’ve been a slight fear that we were overselling the show,” said Variety Magazine’s Chris Willman.

“Rewatching it on film a year later, ‘high water mark in 21st century entertainment’ actually almost feels like it’s underselling it.”

BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson noted that there was “very little documentary content, but as a concert film it’s up there with Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense and Prince’s Sign ‘O’ The Times”.

He added: “It’s like eight Super Bowl half-time shows back to back.”