Beyoncé fans show off elaborate outfits ahead of sold-out opening-night performance at Soldier Field

As rain clouds rolled in, Beyhive members took shelter from the storm, many decked out in sparkling cowboy gear for the performer’s Renaissance Tour.

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Fai Thompson twirls for fellow fans before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fai Thompson twirls for fellow fans before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Donning 8-inch heels and a vibrant outfit she said was inspired by Elton John and a “cowboy on the moon,” Fai Thompson, of Portage, Indiana, strutted to the VIP entrance at Soldier Field ahead of the first of two sold out nights at Soldier Field for Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour.

Thompson said she had been worried she wouldn’t be able to get a ticket but was lucky to land one after entering the queue 10 minutes early.

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Fans stand in line outside Soldier Field ahead of the first night of two back-to-back Beyoncé concerts at the stadium Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Violet Miller/Sun-Times

Despite being a longtime Beyonce fan, Thompson said she was particularly enthralled by the singer’s latest “Renaissance” album and its homage to the LGBTQ+ ballroom scene.

“She hasn’t done anything like this before,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she’s hoping to hear “Cuff It” after splurging on general admission tickets, which get her access to the field, to celebrate entering a new phase of her life as she turns 30 next month.

“I’ve just been splurging on all things worth living through and being my whole self so I can just really enjoy life,” Thompson, 29, said. “If I wanna do all the things before I turn 30 to celebrate this pinnacle moment in my life, I want to do it with Beyoncé.”

Despite spending nearly $2,400 — the combined cost of her and her cousin’s tickets — Thompson said she almost wished she’d upgraded to the highest level of VIP access.

“[But] I still got a mortgage to pay,” Thompson said.

Songs by Fergie and Rihanna played over loudspeakers Saturday afternoon as crowds gathered as dark clouds loomed over the area and threatening to impact the show. The passing storms caused an evacuation of Pitchfork Music Festival around the same time.

The rain only temporarily sent fans looking for cover — but did nothing to dampen their spirits.

Fans run for shelter as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans run for shelter as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Among the fans were Isabella Bercan and Julian Andrades. The siblings have been to Jingleball, and seen Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Bad Bunny together and Ariana Grande together.

“Every show we go to together,” Andrades said. “That’s my buddy, wherever I go she goes and wherever she goes I go.”

But for Beyoncé, Andrades said he decided to go all in.

“I had gotten seats in the 200s, but as the months went on, I realized i’m probably not going to get this opportunity again,” the 28-year-old said. “These knees aren’t what they used to be… I’m not sure how many general admissions I have left in me.”

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Julian Andrades and Isabella Bercan, siblings from Bensenville, Illinois, stand in line for the first night of two sold out Beyoncé shows at Soldier Field Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Violet Miller/Sun-Times

A fear of missing out also drove Mona Eldashoury to attend Saturday.

Eldashoury used to live in Dubai and long hoped to see Beyoncé there, but moved away before the megastar finally did.

“I was really mad I missed that concert so that’s why I’m here,” they said.

The 33-year-old drove from Michigan State University with friend Stefon Funderburke and got tickets in the 200 section, but also got in the VIP line trying to score better seats.

“We’re just here hoping to get something better than we have now,” Funderburke said. “I have been watching Tik Toks nonstop and researching everything we need to know.”

The two made friends with Courtney Craig and Sebastian Anderson, another pair of friends who drove about six hours to get to the show and were also looking to upgrade their seats.

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From left: Mona Eldashoury, Stefon Funderburke, Courtney Craig and Sebastian Anderson stand together before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“We work really hard and a lot of us have pulled a lot of financial strings to be here, so we want to at least get the opportunity see the full experience and enjoy ourselves,” Craig said.

The 31-year-old singer songwriter said it was her first time seeing the music legend, who she considers a major influence, along with Tina Turner and Diana Ross.

Anderson, 31, said he was ecstatic to see Beyoncé a second time, having been “blessed” with tickets during her earlier Formation tour.

“I have had an addiction I could not satiate for so long… It’s a fulfillment of a desire you didn’t know you had,” Anderson said of the experience.

A Beyoncé fan greets fellow fans before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A Beyoncé fan greets fellow fans before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Beyoncé fans walk to Soldier Field before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Beyoncé fans walk to Soldier Field before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Ivan Adorno from Chicago is dressed in all silver before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Ivan Adorno from Chicago is dressed in all silver before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Quajae Barnes from Baltimore poses with a poster of Beyoncé while fellow fans watch her before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Quajae Barnes from Baltimore poses with a poster of Beyoncé while fellow fans watch her before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A staff member attaches a wrist band on a Beyoncé fan before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A staff member attaches a wrist band on a Beyoncé fan before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Danae Watson from Chicago is dressed as a cowgirl while standing in line for souvenirs before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Danae Watson from Chicago is dressed as a cowgirl while standing in line for souvenirs before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Beyoncé fans walk around Soldier field before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Beyoncé fans walk around Soldier field before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Danae Watson from Chicago shows off her nails and shirt before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Danae Watson from Chicago shows off her nails and shirt before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans run for shelter as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans run for shelter as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans shelter under a bridge as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans shelter under a bridge as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans shelter under a tree as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Fans shelter under a tree as rain pours before Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour outside Soldier Field, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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