Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard by now that Beyoncé absolutely slayed her headlining performance at Coachella. She brought out an HBCU marching band, she schooled the audience on African American history, and she stunned the audience with a surprise reunion of Destiny's Child. Her set was a massive production. So, how much did the Coachella organizers pay Bey for her show? Probably a bit more than $3 million. We don't have the exact number but a Rolling Stone article from 2014 reported that large festivals often pay their headliners up to $4 million.
In 2017, The New Yorker revealed that Coachella would be paying that year's headliners—Radiohead, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar—between $3 and $4 million. Of course, Beyoncé later cancelled her performance because she was pregnant with twins. Instead, she is performing at this year's Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival.
Those fees may seem high to you, but Beyoncé's sets and backup singers, dancers, marching band, etc. had to cost her a pretty penny. Also, Coachella is practically printing their own money, they make so much. In 2016, the music festival brought in $94 million. Beyoncé made even more in 2017–$105 million. In 2016, her "Formation" world tour made about $5.2 million a night, for $256 million in 49 shows.
Beyoncé isn't keeping all of her Coachella paycheck. She announced that she's donating $100,000 to four historically black colleges and universities. Queen Bey is once again performing at Coachella this weekend.
Other performers aren't making as much as Beyoncé. Cardi B actually lost money performing at Coachella. She recently told Sirius XM that she's making $70,000 for each of two performances at Coachella. Not too bad—however, the promoters booked her before she blew up, so it's a pay cut from her current rate. However, Cardi B actually had to invest her own money into her stage.
The math was helpfully done by Digital Music News, who figured out that Cardi B may have spent $460,000 into the two weekends of performances. Her stage costs $300,000 per show to set up and Coachella does not pay that bill. In her Sirius XM interview, the rapper said:
"When I was talking to my manager, he was like, 'Man, you don't understand, we're putting $600,000 on that stage set. And then it's like, I have to invest so much money on my stage set, my own money that I gotta go to Wells Fargo and write a check that it's crazy. Like, almost $300,000 per weekend."