She’s the Queen Bey, but she’s not the god of thunder.
If lightning becomes a problem at tonight’s Beyoncé concert at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis — a distinct possibility according to the weather forecasts — the concert will be halted, and fans will be evacuated from the Gophers football palace. If rain is the only thing dampening the pop icon’s local Formation Tour date, however, the only stop in the music will be for outfit changes.
Current weather forecasts call for a 70-75 percent chance of rain and possible thunderstorms from 5-10 p.m. today. Promoters said late Monday afternoon that Beyoncé would take the stage after 8:30 p.m., following a 7 p.m. warm-up set by DJ Drama. Gates are due to open at 5:30 p.m.
Representatives for Beyoncé’s tour promoter, Live Nation, did not respond to questions about evacuation procedures and safety issues except to say, “The show is proceeding as scheduled.”
The University of Minnesota’s website was updated with evacuation information. Should the need arise, fans would be directed to the three big indoor sports facilities on campus: Mariucci, Ridder and Williams arenas, each a block or two from the stadium. A university representative issued a statement that said they have "a weather plan in place for all major events held at TCF Bank Stadium."
"The standard plans for inclement weather, such as evacuation and shelter, will be put in place, if needed, as the event draws closer. Meetings have been scheduled to assess the weather throughout the day."
The statement also reiterated that umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium. Another page on the U of M's athletic site is loaded with other information on the concert, such as road construction alerts and parking information (http://pts.umn.edu/park/stadiumconcerts.html).Updates on the concert will also be sent via the Twitter account @myGopherSports.
A month into the Formation Tour, Beyoncé’s itinerary has already been hit with bad weather several times. At a North Carolina date on May 3, the show was stopped about an hour into Bey’s performance due to lightning, and fans were evacuated inside the stadium. However, the singer and her crew picked up where they left off about 45 minutes later and finished their set.
A lightning evacuation would be a first for a TCF Bank Stadium concert, but music lovers have stood through the rain there several times before. Fans still marvel at the sight of Bono soldiering on through “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with rain visibly pelting him in the stage lights during U2’s 360 Tour in 2011, the stadium’s first concert.
Whether or not Beyoncé proves as resilient remains to be seen, but her bold new record “Lemonade” certainly suggests she doesn’t run when the going gets tough.