Will a pregnant Beyoncé affect Coachella?

Along with Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar, legendary Beyoncé is headlining Coachella. As far as a headlining trio goes, it is quite the star-studded lineup for a festival that is typically remembered for its selection of indie music.

Although both Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar have played numerous festivals before, Beyoncé is not someone who immediately comes to mind when thinking of popular music festivals. Perhaps more accustomed to arena-style shows, it is certainly groundbreaking for Beyoncé, one of the most prolific female singers in the world, to grace the stage at Coachella.

The only slight problem is, our beloved Bey is pregnant with twins. Although nobody has public knowledge of how far along in her pregnancy she is, Beyoncé did make an Instagram post a few days ago revealing a fairly large baby bump. The picture racked up over 9 million likes. Countless fans poured in well wishes for their queen, and her photo became the current most-liked photo on Instagram.

Though her fans are overjoyed for her, some Coachella ticket-holders may be disgruntled if her pregnancy interferes with her headlining the event, which has been buzzed about by many tabloids, sparking a bit of controversy in the last week. At this time, Beyoncé’s representatives have stated that she fully intends to perform. However, it is impossible to be 100 percent certain that she will be able to deliver on their assurance to festival attendees.

Sophomore Sofia Panayides is hoping to purchase tickets for Coachella before the April festival.

“I’m trying to find tickets for Coachella, but it’s hard because so many people want to go” Panayides said. “But honestly, I don’t care about Beyoncé at all—I know it’s going to be fun anyways regardless of if she performs.”

Different media outlets including Billboard and TMZ speculate that Beyoncé would have likely known that she was pregnant at the time of accepting the bid for Coachella, or at least she would have been able to pull out of the event early enough to avoid disappointing concert-goers. Because of this, it would be difficult for her to gracefully cancel her appearance, though it may be necessary for her overall well-being, as well as her twins’. Music festivals typically have disclaimers that the lineup may be subject to change because of the massive amount of bands and artists that perform. As such, ticket-holders typically do not receive refunds for any changes, even to headliners.

In 2014, Billboard Magazine reported that Death Cab for Cutie dropped out of headlining Sound on Sound festival due to band tensions and a member quitting. Occasionally, headliners like Death Cab for Cutie do cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, although it is rare. Modest Mouse was recruited to play the festival in place of Death Cab for Cutie, and fans were almost equally happy with the result. Few requested for refunds at all, though they were not entitled to them anyways.

In some ways, Beyoncé’s situation seems to be a bit different than Death Cab for Cutie’s in that her possible cancellation will not be due to “unforeseen” circumstances. Perhaps complications due to pregnancy or premature births are unforeseen in a way. However, most people understand pregnancy is often complicated—especially for older women—and Bey is 35 years old, which is the age doctors typically start watching pregnancies even more cautiously. Chances are, nothing amiss will happen, and Beyoncé will give an amazing performance at Coachella while being very pregnant. It still begs the question: what will happen if she does cancel?

For one, Coachella’s organizers will likely have to bring in an artist or band in her place. However, it is incredibly difficult, or maybe even impossible to replace someone as popular as Beyoncé. Who could actually replace her? Drake, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, or maybe Chris Brown? The list of artists in the same genre at the same caliber as Beyoncé are certainly few.

It is also impossible to predict how ticket-holders will react in the case of a lineup change. Normally, it isn’t too much of a stretch to hire the next best band or artist available. This year, however, Coachella’s got Beyoncé. She’s essentially too iconic to replace.

Written by Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor