This is the story of Beyoncé acknowledging my existence.
It starts in London, England in February of 2014. My friends and I had a plane to catch back to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I was studying abroad, before our bus to Glasgow to see Beyoncé live in concert. Although we had given ourselves enough time to get to the airport and get on our plane, we did not factor in us getting lost in the Tube. When we had finally gotten on the right train, we were 99 percent sure that we were going to miss our plane. Nevertheless, all three of us put on our headphones, turned on some Beyoncé, and channeled our inner diva, in hopes that we would make our flight. After arriving at the airport and going through security, we ran to our gate, but it was too late. The gate had already been closed and the plane door was shut. We politely asked the lady working the desk if there was any way they could let us on the plane, knowing that she would say no, but asking anyways because we were desperate, and thankfully, we were wrong. I’m not sure if it was the desperation on our faces or the fact that we asked nicely, but she called down to the plane and the pilots agreed to open the door for us. I will never forget this next moment, because as we ran outside to get on the plane, every single plane window contained a passenger staring down at us, wondering why the doors were being re-opened for us. If it was any other situation, I would have been uncomfortable, but I was so grateful to get on that plane, that I didn’t care.
Once we arrived in Edinburgh, my friends and I separated for a couple hours to unpack and re-pack our bags, and then we were on a bus headed to Glasgow. Since we weren’t going to have much time to get ready once we got to our hostel, we started getting ready on the bus, but this didn’t help as much as we thought it would. Despite our best efforts, we still left the hostel about an hour later than we had planned. Having been to many concerts before, and knowing how many people were going to be at this concert, I resigned myself to the fact that we were most likely going to be in the back row, since we were showing up late. My thought was solidified when we arrived at the venue and saw the long line that we had to wait in, but once again we were wrong. We entered the venue and our section, which was the floor, and quickly realized that we were not going to be in the back row but actually extremely close to the front. In the end, we ended up being second row, which is awesome at any concert, but was especially amazing at this one, since the venue had a capacity of 13,000. Of the 13,000 people that were there, we were fortunate enough to be almost as close as you could possibly be to the stage.
Then Beyoncé came on. After performing her opening song, she took a moment to address the crowd, and this is when it happened. Before the concert, I had made a sign that said ‘Hey B, I’m from Texas 2”. However, it was only once we got to the venue that we realized that signs weren’t allowed. Refusing to admit defeat, I put the sign in my jacket and snuck it into the venue. Because of this, my sign was the only sign in the entire venue. To say it stood out would be an understatement. Therefore, as Beyoncé stopped to address the crowd, I pulled my sign out from under my jacket and held it up above my head. When Beyoncé saw it, she stopped talking and asked, “You’re from Texas?”. My response was just to smile, nod my head, and jump up and down. She smiled back, said “I’m from Texas too!”, and went on with her concert.
Although this may seem like a small interaction, to me, it was larger than life. I always enjoy meeting artists, but the fact that it was Beyoncé, who is extremely well-known to begin with but also someone I’m a huge fan of, as a musician and as a person, made this experience extra special. Still to this day, I can’t believe that Beyoncé acknowledged my existence. It’s hard enough for me to wrap my head around the fact that we made that concert in the first place and ended up being second row, and then to top it off I had an actual interaction with Beyoncé herself. Although I had an incredible experience studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, and traveling through some of the United Kingdom and Western Europe, this experience will always be one of my favorite memories of my semester abroad.