(Update: Yesterday it was confirmed that Lady Gaga will be replacing Beyonce as the headliner for Saturday on both weeks of Coachella, her name was also added to the 2017 poster.)
So, that was bound to happen. Once Beyonce’s pregnancy photo became public earlier this month, you had to have a feeling that the clock was ticking on the mother-to-be’s Coachella headlining set. Even the most optimistic of fans couldn’t have expected that a woman carrying twins, who will be in her third trimester, would be able to put on a two-hour show in the unforgiving Indio heat.
But here we are.
Beyonce gracefully and beyond understandably dropped out of Coachella to the chagrin of the Beyhive and others who bought tickets to this year’s extravaganza in anticipation of seeing her dazzle a crowd of nearly 100,000. The silver lining is that she’ll be returning to the desert in 2018 to headline the festival, so there’s that.
For now, we can only speculate who Goldenvoice will tap to take Queen Bey’s place in the top slot on Saturday evening. Will GV replace her with a fellow female headliner? Will that person be a minority? Will that person have the same cache that landing a superstar talent like Beyonce has? She was the big draw this year, and anyone who replaces her will have the task of living up to her shadow over the event.
There hasn’t been much precedent for such a high profile replacement. There’s only one that comes to mind: Kanye West replacing Frank Ocean at 2015’s FYF. Would Yeezus (or even Ocean) answer the call? If we’re talking big name female headliners, maybe a Taylor Swift will make her triumphant comeback after a year of acrimony. Or Beyonce’s competitor for Album of the Year, Adele. That would be quite a coup to score a superstar in such a time crunch, but the folks at GV were probably anticipating this happening well in advance of the photos leaking.
No matter who has the thankless task of replacing Beyonce, that person will have to win over the Coachella faithful. That said, it’s probably a good time to scour the secondary market to see which members of the Beyhive are selling their passes this.