Beyoncé announced her highly anticipated Renaissance World Tour
Beyoncé announced her highly anticipated Renaissance World Tour on the first day of Black History Month – an annual observance in the US that honours the African diaspora. Social media erupted and ticketing websites crashed briefly as fans worldwide rushed to secure tickets. Following her record-setting 32nd win at the 2023 Grammy Awards for her album Renaissance, the US singer-songwriter’s tour is the most sought-after musical event of the year. It will run from May to September 2023, with performances so far scheduled only across Europe and North America.
African fans were disappointed, but no doubt not surprised – Africa is almost always excluded from major world tours organized by global record labels. To be clear, it’s not just Beyoncé. Still, this particular exclusion is compounded by Queen Bey’s love of the continent – especially of former South African president Nelson Mandela – and the influence she’s drawn from it in her work.
Of course, hope remains for her African fandom that destinations could still be added to the tour.
As a popular music scholar, I’m interested in how Beyoncé addresses social issues in her music – and how this is perceived by listeners in Africa. I argue that African destinations should be included – and not just because Beyoncé incorporates African elements in her music – but because of how large and fervent her fanbase is in Africa and how her social awareness messages resonate with these fans.
While we may never know the answer – unless record labels blatantly state their perspectives – many are left to wonder if big name artists and their management teams think that Africa does not have adequate infrastructure to accommodate their grandiose sets. Or if they believe that stadiums will not fill up with patrons such as those across the global north do.
One of the ways that we can start to make sense of Africa’s exclusion is by applying an intersectional lens to western popular culture. (This is a framework to understand the distribution of power – social, economic, political, and cultural – in society, how it is maintained, and why certain groups of people are marginalised.
In other news – AKA died with his friend Tibz
AKA and his friend, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane were shot and killed by two unknown gunmen in Durban.
The rapper whose real name was Kiernan Forbes was said to be heading for his car with his friend who is popularly known as a chef and creative when bullets were sprayed at them. Learn more