We Experienced Beyoncé’s Dubai Concert Through Memes

The star was paid $24 million for the performance.

Beyonce wearing a red dress facing away on a smoke-filled stage next to a photo of dozens of female backup dances lying in a theatrical poses.

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Beyoncé made waves over the weekend after a secretive yet career-defining performance in Dubai, her first live show in over four years.

For many fans, this was a hard pill to swallow. Not just because Queen Bee was receiving $24 million dollars to perform in a country notorious for its ongoing persecution of LGBTIQ people, but because the ultra-private show looked like Beyoncé’s best performance to date.

Performing at the opening of the Atlantis Hotel (essentially a White Lotus on steroids) Beyoncé’s invite-only performance had a strict no-phone policy, with attendees receiving branded bags to store their mobiles on arrival. While the full celebrity guest list is a mystery, eagled-eyed digital sleuths placed Rebel Wilson, Nia Long, Chloe and Halle Bailey, and Kendall Jenner among those who made the list.

If you’re wondering what a multi-million dollar Beyoncé performance at a luxury hotel valued in the billions actually looks like, you can see for yourself thanks to a collection of footage that inevitably made its way online.

Over the course of an hour, Beyoncé wowed fans with hits primarily taken from her back catalogue alongside a theatrical set that finished with the R&B star being literally being hoisted onto a pedestal. The set also included Beyoncé performing a surprise joint debut of ‘Brown Skin Girl’ with her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.  

Despite a performance supported by an 11-person strong squad of Lebanese backup dancers and elaborate firework displays, critics lauded Beyoncé’s voice as the singular highlight of the set, with audiences being particularly blown away by the star’s performance of her 2013 single ‘Drunk in Love’.

Either as a swipe at the United Arab Emirates’ track record of persecuting members of the LGBTIQ community or simply wanting to keep her powder dry for an eventual world tour, Beyoncé didn’t perform any songs off her latest album Renaissance, probably with respect to the history of queer dance music trailblazers who influenced the record.

Meanwhile, common folk stuck watching the scraps of the show accessible on Twitter have managed to turn their FOMO into memes, which will have to sustain us until Beyoncé finally makes her way down here.