In Eventing, Media Engagements

The Global Citizen Festival – Seeing Beyoncé

The day finally came… The day my sister and I dreamt of for a very long time. Big sis, Beyoncé came to us, but first…

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Getting to the stadium was seamless and easy, we didn’t experience that many road blocks and we easily found a parking spot by the gate. The walk from where we parked to the entrance was the longest ever, but it was worth it was filled with a buzz of excitement and lots of fashion statements. The first entrance took us about 20 minutes, and in those 20 minutes; it rained and stopped and then there was a lot people selling anything and everything. This was the 1st check for camera’s and tickets.

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On the way to the second entrance, we spotted more photo opportunities. There was a big painting of Nelson Mandela, a giant sized Global Citizen art piece and a photo booth. We made peace with the fact that we wouldn’t get a ticket upgrade which was given between 12h00 and 14h00 (Thank God we missed it!) and took a few pics wherever we could. We heard people screaming from the stadium, a performance on stage was about to begin. FOMO hit us and we made our way to the stadium.

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The second gate was surprisingly quick to get through (because of the rain, I guess). I did however spot a section that was full of bags that didn’t make it through the gate. There was rule that only a specific size would be allowed; I guess by the time we got there, security guards got tired of taking bags. I carried a fanny pack but my sister’s bag was at risk, but she managed to keep it.

By the time we got to the standing area, WizKid was wrapping up but Trevor Noah was on stage for the first time. The stadium was nowhere near full at 15h00 but the ambiance was already amazing. The only thing that threw us off a bit was the long speeches. When those took place, we found reason to do something outside the stadium. More than anything, this was because it was almost as though the speeches were more for TV than the crowd at the stadium.

Here were my highlights for the Global Citizen Concert:

Sho Madjozi

Her costume, her high energy, her dancers… Just her, Sho Madjozi! We don’t know what or who the Limpopo Champion League (we didn’t know then but now we know, it’s the title of her album) is but I favoured that squad. There’s something refreshing about her proudly Tsonga style, it’s so raw and authentic! She started the party for many of us.

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Black Coffee and Usher

Even though it was only one song, it was a pretty good performance. It was cute seeing Usher do the gwara gwara, abusing it at some point though. The dancers complimented him well, and not forgetting the stage custom he wore. I will admit though, I was anticipating a set from Black Coffee. A young 30 minutes of his magic and maybe Shekinah and Usher on a new song collabo. That would’ve been amazing.

Pharrell

Because I’m Happpppppy! And of course he performed my song and the mood at the stadium was exactly that, Happy. He also performed a few old school tunes and it was great to reminisce on the old skool Pharrell. Another surprise from him was playing Kendrick Lamar’s Alright and a gqom track from nowhere. You know you’re among South Africans when you can go from Happy to gqom dance moves in a heartbeat.

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Ed Sherron

How to serenade the crowd; one man with no dancers or anyone else on stage. Ed Sherron managed to do that. At some point it hit me; this guy was producing every beat live. And singing. I looked around the stadium and saw little blue lights, the kind of stuff you see in romantic movies. Some people where actually in tears when he performed Thinking Out Loud. I was one of those people. That song will never get old.

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Cassper Nyovest

Abuti Fill Up. Straight from of his #FillUpMosesMabhida (the day before) and onto the GC fest stage. I have never experienced a crowd that loves Cassper like the GC crowd. Maybe it was memories from the previous year with #FillUpFNB or maybe people genuinely love this guy. Among others, he performed his classic Gusheshe and Ghetto. And then there was Monate Mpolaye! We lost our minds; between watching Cass dance and trying to do consecutive vosho’s, that moment was one of the most memorable moment and people watching it on TV felt it as well.

PS: He wore Tshepo The Jean Maker, another proud moment.

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After a speech from mam’ O and many more… The big moment arrived

Beyoncé and Jay Z

Have you ever! People started crying and screaming while they were showing their intro imageries. Lenna, they had new images taken in SA! The moment they got to Lenseria Airport, to a young Soweto feature. Love Is Everything… They came in holding hands and started with Holy Grail. B in a black and gold ensemble and Jay in a pink suit.

The mood!

The screams! The Beyoncé voice! They went on to perform Bonnie & Clyde and my absolute favourite; Part Two On The Run. I was in tears while they performed this one and my sister captured the moment for me. Check it out on my highlights

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Next up was Beyoncé in a black ensemble with feathers on the sides and sunnies. They brought Pharrell on stage to perform I Can Do Anything! There was another guy who knew it word for word and wow we watched him and Beyoncé at the same time. That was followed by a Jay Z set and Pharrell came back to perform Exchange Clothes and Excuse Me Miss.

Then there was Beyoncé in what looked like a beaded dress with a head rest. This was the all-girl set; with songs like Crazy In Love. We did the “oh-oh” booty dance with her, it was surreal. We were doing the “oh-oh” with Beyoncé right there singing it! And dancing with us!

Somewhere, there was also Beyoncé in pink. She sang Halo with the most mesmerizing, beautiful notes and then there was XO. The video’s that were up-close showed her in tears while performing this song, we (me and Beyoncé) were in tears at the same time, have you ever. The cherry to the cake was her performing Perfect with Ed Sherron. Did I mention that the clouds were clear, and stars were in full sight…

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Another all-girl set was the squad goals in the colorful in a custom-made  jumpsuits and oversize hats… Okay ladies now lets get in formation. The BeyHive knew all the dance moves. All of them!

Jay Z also had another solo set with his old and new material… Then there was the finale; Beyoncé in a beautiful olive green dress and Jay in a light grey/white suit. The last song  they performed was Forever Young. They went into the crowd and onto the stage on the right. At some point, the crowd was louder than Beyoncé and again, I looked around and the little blue lights added to the ambiance.

Another thing you could not miss was how B and Jay looked at each other. As much as I wished there were a few of my favourite angry songs like Resentment or Hold Up, I’m glad they opted for a lovey dovey, head over heels mood. Beyonce anmd Jay Z ended the night with a kiss and a stare into each other’s eyes before they made their way back to the main stage.

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Watching them walk away, it sunk in… We got to see Beyoncé and Jay Z live. The screams continued until the lights went on. At that point, we had video’s to remind us, it really really happened. It really, really really happened. I can tick “seeing Beyonce perform live” off my vision board.

I don’t think I’ll get over this night anytime soon…

PS; I took a number of videos. Just like the photo’s, they’re not perfect but they share the experience perfectly. Check them out on my highlights here

Also, a special shout out to a tertiary friend of mine who was the Voice Of God at the Global Citizen concert. I am so proud of you Khumi Hamese!

One more special note, I got to see Rasta live in action. Here’s the final product…

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