In the great book of iconic moments in Texas music history, Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella set deserves a chapter unto itself (even though it happened in California). The performance occurred at a time when Queen Bey had been out of the news for some time—her latest album, Lemonade, was two years old at that point, and she and husband Jay Z would not drop their surprise collaborative album for another two months. Headlining a festival like Coachella when you haven’t got a new record to promote can, for a lesser artist, be a chance to cash a paycheck by reviving the material from the last tour, padding out the set with some greatest-hits material, and calling it a day.
Beyoncé did the opposite of that. She had a slew of visually stunning costume changes; she performed a set that spanned more than thirty songs, broken up into three acts; she visited not just every era of her solo career but also her days in Destiny’s Child (complete with a reunion)—and she did it all while paying tribute to a specific part of black American life that doesn’t get much play on stages as big as Coachella, packing the set full of references to the historically black college and university experience. She brought a marching band!
The performance was streamed live, but trying to find an archived version of it to watch at home now is only really possible if you start tripping down shadier and shadier video-hosting sites or start watching a handheld version shot with distorted audio captured on somebody’s phone from the back of the crowd. And now, we finally know why the footage was so strongly protected: because Beyoncé had plans for it. Netflix released the trailer on Monday morning for Homecoming, billed as “a film by Beyoncé” and offering a documentary glimpse of how the legendary Coachella set was crafted. The trailer is built around footage—of the performance, of the rehearsals, of the faces that the set sought to represent—as well as a voice-over from the late Maya Angelou (a longtime inspiration for the singer), and promises a chance to see not just great moments from the iconic performance, but to also get an inside look at Beyoncé’s creative process. The entire film will hit Netflix on April 17 (just a few days after the set’s one-year anniversary), and we fully expect the Internet to lose its entire mind over it.