Fact Check: Photo Of Paltry Crowd Is NOT From Beyonce's Concert In 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Photo Of Paltry Crowd Is NOT From Beyonce's Concert In 2024 Other Bands

Did a viral image portray Beyonce's "first big 'country' show in a nearly empty stadium"? No, that's not true: The 2024 claim came from a satirical network that explicitly warns the audience that it does not publish fact-based stories. The shared picture showed a 2023 concert of Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe at Wembley Stadium, with Beyonce's photo superimposed on it.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook by the "Reagan Was Right" account on April 15, 2024. It began:

Ha! No one likes it, Beyonce.
The banner placed on the bottom of the shared photo continued:
Beyoncè Played Her First Big 'Country' Show in a Nearly
Empty Stadium: 'It Was a Complete Embarrassment'

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-04-18 at 10.34.19 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Apr 18 14:34:19 2024 UTC)

According to TinEye, the photo of Beyonce in the white cowboy hat placed in the top right corner of the frame appeared on the internet in February 2024:

Screen Shot 2024-04-18 at 2.45.45 PM.png

(Source: TinEye screenshot taken on Thu Apr 18 18:45:45 2024 UTC)

The picture was largely shared by media outlets discussing the inclusion of two new country songs to her repertoire and the subsequent debates. For example, it was seen in Vanity Fair (archived here) and Forbes (archived here).

The rest of the photo collage on Facebook capturing a paltry crowd predates that moment. As a reverse image search reveals, it did not originally include an image of Beyonce:

Screen Shot 2024-04-18 at 10.38.21 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Thu Apr 18 14:38:21 2024 UTC)

The earliest examples of the still image (archived here) showing semi-empty seats during a concert started circulating on X, formerly Twitter, on July 5, 2023, under captions stating that the photo showed other musicians, Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, performing at Wembley Stadium (archived here) in London.

Predominantly known (archived here) for playing heavy metal and rock, the two groups performed there on July 1,2023 (archived here).

About 'Reagan Was Right'

The account that posted the claim on Facebook described itself (archived here) as "an authorized subsidiary of the America's Last Line of Defense network of trollery," adding:

Nothing on this page is real.

The America's Last Line of Defense Network (archived here), or the Last Line of Defense Network, was launched by Christopher Blair in 2016 (archived here.) It publishes satire stories some share without reading either the label or the article, or both.

Other Lead Stories fact checks discussing the Blair's network can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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