The lineup for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., the first big event on the annual American outdoor music festival calendar dropped today and the big news is that Texas soul queen, Beyoncé is headlining, alongside last year’s Austin City Limits Fest headliners Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar.
Many artists use an appearance at Coachella as the beginning of mega-fest blitz, which has us wondering. Could Beyoncé play ACL Fest this year?
Her last few tours, which swiftly sold out stadiums in Houston and Dallas, skipped Central Texas. The last time she hit San Antonio, was on the “Beyoncé Experience” tour in 2007. As far as Austin performances, she hasn’t been here since Destiny’s Child played the Star of Texas Rodeo, now Rodeo Austin, in March of 2001. (h/t Andy Langer) Even as superstar compadres, including her husband Jay-Z, have made high dollar pop-in appearances at South by Southwest in recent years, Beyoncé has been so conspicuously absent in the capital of her home state that suggesting an ACL appearance seems, at first blush, ludicrous.
But folks said that about Radiohead, the act that was always the festival’s white whale, until they headlined last year. In fact, I wrote this very same post about the British alt-rock juggernaut last year. Over the past several years, ACL has certainly shelled out for star power. Kanye West, Eminem, OutKast and the Weeknd have all played in recent years.
But as we all know, Beyoncé plays by her own rules and the Coachella appearance could easily be a one off. Or the launch of a new surprise album that will be revealed at the show. Or the next great industry disruptor, when she sells special glasses for $18.99 that will create the sensation that you’re dancing with hologram Beyoncé in your living room while you watch the live stream, because, after all, this is Beyoncé we’re talking about.
But maybe, just maybe, 2017 will be the year Beyoncé plays ACL Fest.
ACL Fest 2017 is scheduled for Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 13-15 in Zilker Park. The lineup is generally announced in late Spring when passes will go on sale.
Update: This blog has been updated to note Beyoncé’s 2001 rodeo appearance in Austin.