Beyoncé took over Coachella this weekend, effectively re-naming the festival Beychella, a term her fans coined just after she took the stage in Indios, California. She also took over Twitter, as the website flooded with tweets about her epic headlining performance. According to a spokesperson for Twitter, the users employed the hashtag #Beychella over two million times, while #coachella got a measly 800,000. Ergo, Beychella > Coachella forevermore. (That said, the terms Coachella and #coachella appeared together three million times, while Beychella/#beychella only appeared 2.2 million times. Do with that information what you will.)
Beyoncé was the first Black woman to headline the "boho" California music festival. She delayed the gig by a year after discovering she was pregnant with twins — less than a year after giving birth to Sir and Rumi Carter, Beyoncé took the stage in an HBCU-inspired performance that will go down in history. Balmain designed the costumes for the performance. Destiny's Child reunited. Jay-Z Carter materialised to perform with his wife. All of it was iconic, and all of it overshadowed Coachella itself, which has ballooned into a bizarrely corporate display of bohemian kitschiness. Coachella itself has also been plagued by criticism for the political leanings of its partial owner Philip Anschutz. On top of that, tickets go for more than $400 a pop. It is, in many ways, the antithesis of the artists it supports.
Beyoncé, with her performance, shifted the conversation away from Coachella and toward something different. In the hours following her performance — tweets per minute peaked at 1:14 a.m. PST, right after her set — Twitter was deep in discussion about Beychella, not Coachella. Next year, when there's a new headliner, maybe the festival won't matter anymore. Or, hell, maybe Beyoncé will establish her own yearly festival titled Beychella. No one would complain.