Beyoncé opens Renaissance World Tour with giant progress Pride flag

The 29-time Grammy Award-winner played the first of 57 international concerts last night, with queer fans raving about the pre-show projection.

Left: Beyoncé and dancers on the Renaissance World Tour, Right: Pre-show progress Pride flag projection on stage.
Image: Left: @MathewKnowles, Right: @beyoncegarden via Twitter

Last night, May 10, the Bey Hive swarmed to Sweden’s Friends Arena in Stockholm to see Beyoncé on the opening date of her highly-anticipated Renaissance World Tour. As fans buzzed with excitement in the lead-up to the show, desperate for any hints of what was to come, her queer supporters were particularly excited to see the stage screens projecting rainbow colours.

To the untrained eye, the display may first appear to simply be static bars, similar to those that pop up on TVs with no signal. However, upon closer inspection, fans noticed that the protection contains every shade of the iconic progress Pride flag, including the six rainbow hues in Gilbert Baker’s original design, as well as the trans colours and black and brown tones. The symbol is used to express support for the LGBTQ+ community as well as people of colour.

It’s safe to say Queen B’s gesture didn’t go a miss, with her queer followers raving about the move on Twitter.

“Beyoncé got the pride flag as the backdrop. This show about to be gay af. I’m so emotional,” one user wrote.



The Rennaisance World Tour runs until September 27, with the star performing 57 shows across Europe and North America. While there is no Irish date, there are eight UK concerts, including five in London.

The Renaissance album is widely considered to be a love letter from Beyoncé to the LGBTQ+ community, drawing inspiration from a range of Black queer artists throughout history, including trans DJ and producer Honey Dijon and ‘90s drag artist Moi Renee. It also pays tribute to the superstar’s late gay ‘uncle’ Johnny, who passed away as a result of AIDS.

While the musician has been commended for spotlighting queer talent in the project, she also faced criticism earlier this year after performing at the opening of the Atlantic The Royal hotel in the United Arab Emirates where homosexuality is still criminalised and punishable by death. It was her first full concert in over four years, and she was reportedly paid $24 million for the show.

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