At last week’s Hand in Hand benefit telethon for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the world’s most famous Houstonian, Beyoncé, made an impassioned plea for her hometown in a recorded video message.
We knew this wasn’t all she had in the works. Earlier in the month, the pop superstar promised to help ‘as many as we can’ in her hometown.
Now, her plans are beginning to take shape. Today, team Bey announced a special benefit concert featuring Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z. set to go down Oct. 17 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Other artists from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label are also expected to perform. (There’s no word yet on ticket sales.)
Of note to Austin City Limits-goers, the benefit performance will take place four days after Jay-Z hits the stage to headline the first night of weekend two of the city’s namesake festival. Jay-Z’s set is scheduled to take place immediately after Beyoncé’s sister Solange performs.
Since the bookings were announced, there’s been rampant speculation about whether or not Beyoncé would make an appearance at ACL Fest. Queen Bey has not played Austin since the early aughts, when Destiny’s Child played the Star of Texas Rodeo (then called Rodeo Austin). We at Team 360 have been conservative on the ‘Yoncé/ACL odds. She did, after all, just give birth to twins four months ago, and sure, Beyoncé is no ordinary human being, but she’s a rigorous perfectionist who wouldn’t hit a stage unless she felt 300% ready.
There’s also the matter of that Coachella headline set she canceled earlier this year. There’s a good chance, she’s contractually obligated not to make a fest appearance until her makeup date in 2018.
But now we know she is actually in rehearsals for a charity performance with her husband. And sure, there’s no way the NYC show won’t sell out, but a quick cameo at ACL could be cast as a benefit promo which might blur the lines of any prior contracts.
In short, we still aren’t bullish on the odds of a Beyoncé pop-in at ACL Fest, but in the past couple hours our Bey-watch meter has moved from “not gonna happen” to “not out of the question.”