Imagine spending all year planning a trip to the legendary Havasu Falls. Waking up early on the only day permits are sold, refreshing your browser for hours until you finally scored one, plunking down $500 for the minimum four days, and using a week’s worth of vacation to go there.
Then, when you finally show up, you’ve gotta sit there for five hours because Beyoncé wants to film a music video.
That’s what happened to a number of red-rock loving hikers recently, when Beyoncé Knowles-Carter decided they didn’t love Havasu like she loved Havasu, and made them all wait while she filmed a brief snippet for her new video for “Spirit,” a song off the new Lion King soundtrack, which she curated. (Beyoncé stars as Nala in the much-hyped CGI remake, which opened this Friday.)
The entertainer helicoptered into the falls that usually require a 10-mile hike to grab ten seconds of footage. To the 350 or so hikers who’d waited all year to see the falls, Beyoncé put her middle fingers up, put them hands high, waved it in their faces, and told them, boys, bye.
When TMZ shared footage of the filming, the Internet was mildly perturbed. One commenter on Facebook said, “It’s not fair for the people who worked so hard to get reservations, travel from all over the world to not be able to enjoy Havasu Falls for five hours.”
The Beyhive, of course, came to her rescue on Twitter with unverified stories of her and daughter Blue Ivy asking hikers for permission before ruining their vacation. No hikers corroborated the stories.
The video was also shot at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona, and Horseman’s Center Park in Apple Valley, California. Neither of those places, however, limit passes to just over 300 per day.
Though the brief clip of the most-famous third of Destiny’s Child appears about a minute in the “Spirit” video — and lasts just longer than the other two’s solo careers — people with the falls on their bucket list are rightfully concerned that their chances of scoring a permit just got even lower. Not that Havasu was ever a hidden gem by any stretch, but this won’t make next year’s permit scramble easier for anyone.
One potential upside, though, is that her team may have paid to shoot on their land, which could, in turn, help the park in the long run. But then again, this is Beyoncé we’re talking about, and it’s just as possible the folks at the Havasupai Tribal Council (who had to approve the shoot) were simply thrilled for the falls to serve as the backdrop for Queen Bey.