More than a full year after the release of Renaissance and on the night of the final stop of its subsequent tour, Beyoncé has finally decided to give us the visuals that we’ve been bothering her for every single day in the most Beyoncé-fashion possible: an epic global event where the tour will be immortalized in a concert film coming to theaters this December. The gag? It stars Queen Bey herself — and everyone who attended the Renaissance World Tour. Baby, we are the visuals.
Since the self-titled album drop that altered the way musicians release music forever, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected with Beyoncé. After more than 30 years in the game, she doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else. Still when Renaissance hit the streaming platforms last July, fans were disappointed (and maybe even a little annoyed, if we’re keeping it real) to discover that it didn’t come with a film like Beyoncé and Lemonade had. Sure, we loved the music, but we knew that a sound so special just had to come with extraordinary visuals to match. For the next year and three months, members of the Beyhive would litter her comment sections with impatient inquiries. “Where are the visuals, queen?” read the nice comments. “Ma’am, be so serious and release the visuals expeditiously,” read the others. (The Hive can get a little spicy.) Still, Beyoncé kept a bright smile and a mischievous glint in her eyes while she carried on with her business for the Renaissance World Tour, gallivanting across Europe and North America for months. We got glimpses of footage that she recorded for the project during the intermission of each show, but nothing was for sure. Maybe we were never getting the visuals, and we just had to be okay with it.
But on October 1, the same day as the very last date on the highest grossing tour headlined by a female artist, Beyoncé and her team began sharing a cryptic countdown across their social media accounts. No one knew exactly what it could be — she’s been hinting at a haircare line, a high-end perfume, and a new Ivy Park capsule — but we were prepared. As a Beyoncé stan, “ready” has to be your default.
As if she knew how sad her fans were at the prospect of the tour ending and her inevitably going back into hiding, Beyoncé’s announcement promised us even more Renaissance content. The long awaited visuals will finally be released, but with an amazing twist: they’ll feature footage from the tour — of us at the tour! — and will debut at AMC Theaters across the country on December 1, 2023.
“The goal for this tour was to create a place where everyone is free, and no one is judged” Beyoncé narrates over the trailer, featuring a compilation of both BTS and performance footage. “Start over. Start fresh. Create the new — that’s what the Renaissance is about.” We see scenes of her stretching with Blue Ivy, of the Renaissance dancers rehearsing their choreography, of fans clad in silver and sparkles watching the stage with astonishment. The trailer underscores an important fact that the Hive has come to terms with over the years: every single thing that this woman does (or doesn’t do) with her work is on purpose, and it’ll all make sense in the end.
This won’t be our first time sitting down to watch a Beyoncé film (she’s released full-length films on HBO and HOMECOMING on Netflix in the past) but going to the movie theater to relive the highest grossing tour by a woman in world history is a different experience. Attending the tour in real life, outlandishly clad in our collective silver, was a cultural shift, and the nature of the forthcoming Renaissance visuals is a reminder that this album and its rollout have been about more than just releasing good music; Beyoncé is, has always been, and will always be about creating culture and protecting her community. She knows exactly how much she’s loved, and through the creation of the House of Chrome — an inclusive space where true freedom is the only goal — she’s returning that love tenfold. By being intentional about including her fans in the visuals, the Renaissance film is a genuine celebration of the community that’s rallied around her for decades. And we get to memorialize the magic of it over and over again.
(Note: we still don’t know if the first act of Renaissance is over. Could the film officially be the start of Act II, or is it just a continuation of the first act? Is she done touring for this project? Is there more music down the pipeline?! Ahhh!)
If you thought we wore Homecoming out, get ready; the Hive’s energy for the Renaissance is going to be on a whole other level. Think the hype around the Black Panther premiere but with silver cowboy hats and fringe and denim. And sparkles — lots of sparkles.
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, hits theaters on December 1.