Ticketmaster braces for Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ tour amid fears of Taylor Swift-level demand

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Ticketmaster is gearing up for what’s expected to be high demand for tickets to Beyoncé’s upcoming “Renaissance World Tour,” as the ticketing giant continues to face criticism over the botched presale for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour last year.

Beyoncé announced Wednesday that her first solo world tour since 2016 will kick off May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden, and conclude Sept. 27 in New Orleans. The superstar will perform songs from her seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” which released over the summer and is in the running for Album of the Year at Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

Ticketmaster said in a statement that “demand for this tour is expected to be high” and that it plans to use its Verified Fan system again to prioritize tickets for those who register with the platform. The company said the multistep verification process will “ensure more tickets get into the hands of concertgoers” and will “help filter out buyers looking to resell tickets” and automated bots.

Ticketing for the North American leg of the 41-date tour begins Monday, according to Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation. The company said fans hoping to secure presale tickets will have a better chance if they register with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system.

Ticketmaster said registering does not guarantee tickets and only verified fans who later receive a code through lottery-style selection will then have access to join the sale on a first-come, first-served basis on the sale date. Registration windows vary by city, and the company warns “there will be more demand than there are tickets available.”

In November, verified fans for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour presale faced long wait times, confusion and technical glitches. Within 48 hours of the presale going live, Ticketmaster canceled the general public sale, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”

The company later said bots were at least partially responsible for the disruption.  

Ticketmaster and Live Nation did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment Thursday.

Following the November meltdown, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have faced fresh scrutiny over their 2010 merger, with politicians and competitors saying the ticketing site’s monopoly in the live music industry has resulted in exorbitant ticket fees and poor customer service.

Senators heard testimony on the matter Jan. 25, when lawmakers from both sides of the aisle questioned Live Nation’s chief financial officer, Joe Berchtold.

A group of Swift fans is suing Live Nation, accusing the company of “anticompetitive conduct.”

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