Beyoncé is one of the greatest performers the world has ever known.

Her concerts are flawless, intense and artful spectacles.

And the superstar icon embodied all of this and more in her highly successful Formation World Tour in 2016.

"A prime example of entertainment and a vision of an artist at her apex" and "the show was a visual feast as well as an emotional tour de force, packed with fireworks, confetti, rearranging stage designs and aerial dancers".

     -Kat Bein, Rolling Stone

Beyonce during the Formation Tour in St. Louis
By Johnny Wilbank, via Wikimedia Commons

On February 7, 2016, the British rock band Coldplay opened the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

The special performances of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars further heated up the show.

While football was the night's main event, Beyoncé's announcement for the dates of her summer world tour was a huge surprise and left her fans with anxious hearts.

The ‘Formation World Tour' was Beyoncé's seventh concert tour. It took almost six months to conclude beginning on the 27th of April and ending on the 7th of October 2016.

The tour had 49 specified concert dates. It started at Marlin's Park in Miami, Florida and ended at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The pop icon's outstanding performances during the tour were talked about around the world.

They were also talked about for their high-budget staging, costumes, and effects. More than anything though, fans and critics alike were awestricken because of how much it earned.

In fact, Pollstar 2016 ranked the world tour number 2 in its Top 100 Tours chart on account of its total tour gross of $256 million for all 49 sold out shows and had 2.24 million viewers.

Formation World Tour in Houston

Production, Costumes, Staging, and Performances

Wherever the arena was, a 60-foot-tall moving video cube, called the ‘Monolith', served as the main background for the stage.

Beyoncé herself was a huge part of its creative process critiquing every part of the stage design.

The stage was also made waterproof to cater to the unpredictably of outdoor stadiums.

A treadmill runway made the stage more glamorous.  It led to a second stage filled with 2,000 gallons of stored water. The presence of water was said to function as an antithesis to the fiery effects and Beyoncé's fierceness.

It seemed that despite the seriousness of Beyoncé as well as the perfection of the shows, the ambiance remained joyful while the icon kept a mostly happy façade.

Beyoncé wore differently styled costumes for the entire tour as well. She had to deal with a variety of designers to achieve each one.

She had a wild-west and a Victorian-inspired floral bodysuit, as well as a black crystal bodysuit and gold embroidered costumes, just to name a few.

The overall inspiration of the tour is the pop star's album ‘Lemonade' with the rotations of the ‘Monolith' serving as a cue to every new chapter of the show.

There was smoke, lights, all sorts of Beyoncé music, black-clad female dancers, several all-out performers and an exultant crowd throughout the world tour.

Of course, there were awesome performances from guest performers too including Kendrick Lamar, Serena Williams, Jay Z and DJ Khaled.

Beyoncé performing during The Formation World Tour in Brussels, Belgium,
on July 31, 2016. By Franklin Heijnen, via Wikimedia Commons

Audience and Critics' Reception

With the huge gross income of Beyoncé's Formation World Tour, it may seem like a no-brainer to decide whether or not it was successful overall.

Indeed, there were more positive reviews commending Beyoncé's performances. Nevertheless, there were also negative ones as well.

Some praised Beyoncé for her strong vocals and her command on stage. Others were simply perplexed at how she was able to slay each performance with such level and magnitude.

The critics did not leave out the other moving parts of her show too of course. They loved the sharply choreographed dance routines.

The brilliant fireworks and the cool special effects also delighted thousands of people in the audience and critics alike.

The sites and sounds of the tour combined to produce a sensational and unforgettable experience.

Beyoncé was criticized for not speaking often enough to her audience though. Her critics believed that she sometimes got too focused on her performances at the exclusion of the fans.

This resulted in her forgetting that she had a live audience. This was only one of the few negative commentaries about the tour however.

Overall, the Formation World Tour received mostly deep admiration from fans, artists, and critics alike.

Final Thoughts

With the Formation World Tour's success, it's safe to say that Beyoncé was in her prime (and still is!) during this tour, and we only expect more from the pop icon in the future.

Let's not ignore the fact that the Formation World Tour was one of the highest gross earners of its time.

And with concert tours with her husband Jay-Z like On The Run II, Beyonce is still slaying it today.

Formation Tour Set List

(This set list, from Wikipedia, is representative of the show in Milan. It does not represent all concerts for the duration of the tour.)

"Irreplaceable" (acapella)
"Bow Down"
"Run the World (Girls)"
"Superpower" (interlude)
"Baby Boy"
"Hold Up"
"Me, Myself and I"
"Runnin' (Lose It All)"
"All Night"
"Don't Hurt Yourself"
"Five to One" / "Ring the Alarm"
"Flawless (Remix)"
"Feeling Myself"
"Drunk in Love"
"Die with You" / "Blue" (interlude)
"Daddy Lessons"
"Love on Top" (acapella)
"The Beautiful Ones"
"Purple Rain" (interlude with the original recording)
"Crazy in Love (2014 Remix)" / "Crazy in Love"
"Naughty Girl"
"End of Time"

Watch Videos of Beyonce's Formation Tour








Sources & Further Reading


Learn about Lady Gaga and Beyonce's song "Telephone"


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