Beyoncé will kick-off her North American dates in Toronto on 8 July. [Source: BBC]
The first batch of tickets for the North American dates of Beyoncé’s world tour went on sale on Monday, with huge demand as expected.
The star, who won a record-breaking 32nd Grammy Award on Sunday, has not held a solo tour since 2016.
It is seen as the first major test for Ticketmaster since the company’s system was overwhelmed by the demand for Taylor Swift tickets late last year.
Ticketmaster apologised to Swift and her fans last month.
The company tweeted an update ahead of the initial sales in which they said they had increased their defences since “scalpers will likely unleash a record level of bot attacks”.
William Robertson, a cyber-security professor at Northeastern University, said touts have likely been “overwhelming Ticketmaster with network traffic”.
He explained that defending against bots is an active area of security research, but there is no silver bullet yet. “It’s probably unreasonable to expect that Ticketmaster can stop all bot attacks,” he said.
The ticket giant has been live tweeting when new pre-sale access codes are sent out to eager fans.
Some expressed their joy at securing tickets, while others were waiting anxiously. One fan wrote: “I got my Beyoncé tickets… after being stressed for days waiting to get an email or message for the [access] code, I got the code 2 minutes into the sale & was able to secure a ticket!”
The company earlier said it had changed its process for the North American legs of Beyoncé’s 43-date Renaissance tour following the Taylor Swift issues in November.
Fans were asked to register for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan process – which the company says will filter out touts – before the first pre-sale opened on Monday.
The deadline to register was Sunday, and those that managed to do so ahead of time were entered into a “lottery-style process” after demand outstripped the number of available tickets.
Some who registered were placed on a waiting list, the company said.
If there are remaining tickets after those on the waiting list have been offered a chance to buy, then they will go on general sale.
But the possibility of that seems increasingly rare – Ticketmaster noted that demand was 800% higher than supply, based off registration.
Beyoncé will kick-off her North American dates in Toronto on 8 July, playing regular shows until her final date in New Orleans on 27 September.
A UK general sale will begin on Tuesday. The star is set to play five UK stadium shows in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sunderland and London.
Politicians in the US, who are already investigating Ticketmaster over the fumbled sale of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, will be closely watching how the systems cope with Beyoncé’s concerts.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing last month to investigate a “lack of competition” in the ticketing industry following the Taylor Swift problems.
The committee earlier tweeted “we’re watching” at Ticketmaster in response to a post announcing the Beyoncé tour.
The company apologised during the congressional hearing. “We need to do better and we will,” Joe Berchtold, president of Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, said.
Ticketmaster, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, has repeatedly faced criticism from fans and politicians, who say it has too much control over the live music market and artificially inflates the cost of tickets with fees and service charges.