Hikers and tourists were not feeling the love over the summer, when superstar Beyoncé
shut down a popular area within the Grand Canyon for the filming of her latest music
Beyoncé’s single “Spirit” was a promotion for the summer blockbuster and beloved
remake of Disney’s “The Lion King”.
According to The Arizona Republic (via USA Today), Beyoncé’s request was more of a
favor; as the National Park made a major exception to allow her to film at the base of
Havasu Falls, on such short notice.
To get to this picturesque oasis within the Grand Canyon, travelers are usually required
to traverse an eight-mile hike to the village of Supai. After reaching the village, tourists
travel for another two miles to the campground, only to go another three miles to finally
make it to the famed waterfall.
The beauty and exclusivity of the falls, the Havasupai Tribe only grants 300 permits per
day. While that might sound like a fair amount, there is such a high demand, the permits
are usually available in February, and are sold out in minutes
The tribe charges $100-$125 per night for a three-night visit. Usually, it doesn’t matter
who you are, you must wait in the same line and endure the same thirteen-mile trek as
Yet, Beyoncé was granted access to the falls via helicopter. During the shoot, the
popular tourist destination was closed for over five hours. This was understandably
upsetting to the people who had planned their trip in advance and procured their spot
through the conventional channels.
To make matters worse, Access Hollywood reported, that people were only told the day
of that they were not permitted to enter the area. Many hikers were turned away, even
being ‘aggressively’ dismissed by park rangers. All they were told was that they were
not allowed in because they could not risk them interrupting Beyoncé video shoot.
Even the tribe did not give an adequate explanation, considering the countless people
whose vacations were ruined.
“Knowing that Beyoncé advocates for the preservation of water rights around the world,
we were particularly pleased to be able to accommodate her request,” the Havasupai
Tribe’s statement read. “Her choice to visit the Havasupai Indian Reservation as a
setting for her new video and to share it worldwide is a testament to the stunning beauty
of our remote homeland.”
For most, it is all well and good that they are happy their reservation was featured.
However, that is not the issue. The abrupt closure and ruining of plans are the issues.
Yet, the statement did nothing to make the people who are loyal tourists feel any better
about the ordeal. Thus, it is still an issue that may rear its ugly head again, when
permits go on sale in February, 2020.