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Mayor Justin Bibb would 'welcome' Beyoncé if she rescheduled her Pittsburgh show for Cleveland

Beyoncé at a concert in Brazil
A. Ricardo
Beyoncé, as seen performing in 2011, had originally scheduled a show in Pittsburgh.

The Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry could take on a new dimension outside of football. Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb said his city would be happy to host Beyoncé after she canceled her August 3 appearance at Acrisure Stadium, home of the Steelers, due to unspecified logistical issues. However, he has made no overtures as his friend, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, looks to bring the concert back.

“I know that Pittsburgh is actively trying to make sure they have the concert there,” he said. “But I’d welcome Beyoncé to come to Cleveland to sell out Cleveland Browns Stadium or Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse or any of our big venues… to show Beyoncé that we are the rock ‘n’ roll capital of the world.”

The stadium holds about 73,000 people – 5,000 more than its Pittsburgh counterpart. The venue hosted Beyoncé’s most recent concert in Northeast Ohio in 2018 – a sell-out. She was here again in 2021, as her husband Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Beyoncé has also donated several iconic pieces of clothing to the Rock Hall, for which she’ll be eligible as a solo artist in 2027. She appeared in Cleveland with Jay-Z at a political rally for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

Over the past 20 years, Beyoncé’s only other Cleveland shows were in 2004 and 2007 at what’s today called Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The singer’s Renaissance World Tour is her first outing since the COVID-19 pandemic. Her Pittsburgh show was the closest stop to Northeast Ohio this year. The next closest, Detroit, is July 26.

Bibb’s involvement comes a week after he tweeted Grammy-winning rapper Kid Cudi about reviving the Moon Man’s Landing festival. The Shaker Heights native’s on-again/off-again music fest was slated to happen August 19, but he canceled citing a lack of interest in the event moving indoors to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse after its first year in the Flats. Bibb then got involved, asking Cudi to contact him and stating on Twitter that the city never received a permit application for the festival. The mayor said they’re actively looking at options, but if the festival doesn’t happen this year, they’re already looking at options for next year.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.