Beyoncé is going on tour. Will Ticketmaster be able to handle it?
Good news: Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour is happening. Bad news: Fans are already gearing up for a difficult time getting tickets, especially following Ticketmaster’s botched ticket rollout for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.
Beyoncé announced the tour — which had been previously rumored — on Wednesday. In an Instagram post, the superstar posted simply “RENAISSANCEㅤ ㅤWORLD TOUR 2023.” Her website shows tour dates from May to September. Beyoncé will perform in cities around the world, making several stops in the United States.
Ticketmaster published a blog post on Wednesday with instructions on how to get tickets for the tour.
People who want access to the North American leg of the tour have to be registered as Verified Fans, the post explained.
“Demand for this tour is expected to be high,” the page said. “If there is more demand than there are tickets available, a lottery-style selection process will determine which registered Verified Fans get a unique access code and which are placed on the waitlist,” the company said, adding that the access code doesn’t guarantee a ticket.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting news of the tour, but many are already bracing themselves for a Ticketmaster disaster, following the recent Swift ticket debacle.
“Hey @Ticketmaster you better have you servers ready!!!” one person tweeted. “Don’t screw this up,” said another.
The Swift concert drama started even before tickets officially went on sale. In mid-November, Ticketmaster’s site overloaded when fans tried to purchase pre-sale tickets for just a handful of dates. Demand was so high that Ticketmaster ultimately canceled the public sale of the tickets. Swift was furious, calling the debacle “excruciating for me.”
Ticketmaster had to contend with more than just the ire of Swift and her fans. The fiasco prompted a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, designed to examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry (and give senators an opportunity to quote their favorite T-Swift song lyrics.) The hearing gave members of the committee and others a chance to call out Ticketmaster’s power within the industry.
Over a decade ago, the company merged with Live Nation, despite fears that the conglomerate would create a monopoly in the ticketing sector. In 2010, a court filing that raised objections to the merger said that Ticketmaster had over 80% share among major venues. Ticketmaster disputes that market share estimate, and says it holds at most just over 30% of the concert market, according to CFO Joe Berchtold, who spoke about the business on NPR.
Today, it’s widely criticized for holding too much power in the sector — effectively barring fans and artists from buying or selling tickets through a competitor.
Renaissance, which dropped this summer, has been widely acclaimed and was nominated for album of the year at the Grammys Feb. 5.
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