The beginning of Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour is turning somehow dramatic. During her performance on Friday night in Tampa, Florida, a plane carrying the banner #BlackLivesMatter was seen and photographed as it was flying above the Raymond James Stadium, where the concert was taking place. Separately, the star cancelled her Nashville performance previously scheduled for next Thursday, May 5. Fans were not given any explanation.
The star, who has been criticized for the “anti-police” messages contained in Formation, recently told People in an interview that she actually admires police officers who risk their lives to keep citizens safe. However, police departments across the United States have been protesting against her for months and the Tampa Police Department even considered not to staff the Friday night event.
A police spokesman told reporters at the concert that the PBA and their chief determined they would staff the concert just as they would any other activity, as reported by PerezHilton.com. It was up to every individual officer to decide whether they wanted to work the event.
Beyoncé had commented of the interview with People that she believed the most powerful art was the most likely to be misunderstood. The 34-year-old artist remarked she was absolutely not an anti-police person, but pointed out that she was totally against police injustice and brutality.
Tennessee fans are waiting for the Nashville concert to be rescheduled
Beyoncé postponed her upcoming Nashville performance without a clear explanation. The world tour’s official Twitter page said the event was “postponed due to stadium construction”.
— Formation World Tour (@FormationWT) April 29, 2016
Her rep told E! News in a statement that the decision was announced by promoters Live Nation after Wednesday’s opening night Formation World Tour concert in Miami. The rep said the rescheduled date would be announced shortly and added there are no further changes regarding her remaining tour dates.
“Nashville tickets holders are advised to retain their tickets which will be honored at the rescheduled event,” the rep said.
Queen B is set to return to the stage Saturday night in Tampa. She will then perform in Atlanta on Sunday and resume her tour with North Carolina on Tuesday.
Beyoncé triggered controversy after her tour’s opening night in Miami by offering Formation tour merchandise with the slogan “Boycott Beyoncé”. After her performance at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show and the controversy around her Formation music video, that irreverent move did not calm police officers down.
Javier Ortiz, chief of Miami’s police union, said the artist was dividing Americans by supporting the Black Panthers and argued her latest work was a clear evidence that she was against law enforcement, as reported by The Miami New Times. Ortiz had urged cops to boycott the star’s event in Miami, but a Police Department spokesman said several officers were already set to work the event, which was to be “fully staffed”.
Source: E! Online