Beyoncé's return to the Stadium of Light is great news for Sunderland, whether you love her or not
Remember where you were when you heard the news that Beyoncé was returning to Sunderland? I can, although it was only yesterday.
I found myself whistling a few bars of Crazy in Love while waiting for the kettle to boil (Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh no-no, oww). I’m with it it me; albeit it’s the only Beyoncé song I know.
I won’t be at the Stadium of Light on May 23 but dare say that Knowlesy, as her friends call her, is not perturbed by this. In fact, I’ll stick my neck out and say that she has probably never even heard of me.
Yet none of this is relevant. What’s important is that 50,000+ people will descend upon Wearside, enter the finest stadium within a 250-mile radius and have a great time.
Equally importantly, the whole event will be worth millions to the local economy. As with the Pink gigs on June 10 and 11, it’s something for Sunderland to celebrate, even if you’re not going.
After Beyoncé’s previous SOL concert in 2016 there was a three-year gap for stadium gigs here, while the football club was run notably ineptly, on and off the pitch.
In 2018 the club was unable to accommodate the Rolling Stones in what was probably the last chance to do so. Some line was trotted out about pitch renovations, which had never been an issue before.
SAFC’s administration doesn’t always submerge itself in plaudits these days either, but deserve praise for restoring major concerts to the city with bona fide superstars.
Beyoncé is not to everyone’s taste, something she has in common with every act ever to perform at the stadium. Yet even her detractors should be pleased at the news (her recent ill-considered decision to perform in Dubai notwithstanding).
From what I’ve seen on social media so far the announcement has been greeted with overwhelmingly positivity, although a small, dreary “I would rather…” contingent persists.
Begrudgers. Who needs ‘em? Some people would moan if they had free tickets to see Elvis, with Mozart behind him on the washboard. Ignore them.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh no-no, oww.