Tickets to see the highly anticipated Beyonce’s “Renaissance” tour were being “resold” for more than $3,000 per person before tickets went on sale Feb. 6. Scalpers are counting on fans willing to pay a high price to see the Grammy-winning singer, who hasn’t toured since 2016.
These yet-to-be purchased tickets to see Beyoncé’s So-Fi Stadium show in Los Angeles in September are selling for up to $3,064 per ticket on VividSeats; other seats are going for $570, Rolling Stone reports.
The New Jersey show at the Metlife Stadium in July has nosebleed seats listed for more than $600, with some lower bowl seats being priced for more than $1,800 each.
However, these tickets are not real. They are part of a growing, troubling phenomenon called “speculative ticketing.”
What is Speculative Ticketing?
As defined by Ticketmaster, speculative ticketing is when “unofficial sellers list tickets for sale even though they do not actually have those tickets. They are betting (or speculating) that they will be able to get tickets and then resell them to fans. People claiming to sell these tickets are committing fraud and this practice is illegal in many states.”
Speculative ticketing is such a problem that President Joe Biden has called for limits to be placed on the fees that can be charged for tickets to live entertainment. Biden’s statements came on the heels of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where Taylor Swift appeared as a witness and lawmakers criticized Ticketmaster and stressed the ticketing industry needs an overhaul.
Speculative ticketing has already pushback from Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Live Nation Entertainment’s president and CFO Joe Berchtold, who contends platforms like SeatGeek and VividSeats, which allow pre-approved sellers to list speculative tickets on their sites, might need legislation to crack down on bots that purchase mass amounts of tickets.
The situation has gotten so out of hand that the Renaissance World Tour fan account tweeted that tickets are not allowed to be resold for more than their original price, The San Francisco Standard reported.
“You cannot sell your tickets for higher than the price you paid, including all fees,” the tweet read.
SeatGeek declined to comment to Rolling Stone regarding speculative ticketing despite the fact that it claims to be a “professional sellers” website.
VividSeats states, with a fine print specifying that the seller does not necessarily own the tickets upon sale, its speculative ticketing is exclusive to “Zone Sales Program” members, a program through which VividSeats permits sellers to list “pre-order hard-to-find tickets.”
Those who bought the speculative ticket will be guaranteed access to the zone they selected, albeit the website does not detail the exact number of seats that will be given until delivery.
Government Stepping In?
Biden noted that Congress “should lower the huge service fees that companies like Ticketmaster slap onto tickets for concerts or sporting events that can easily add hundreds of bucks to a family’s night out.”
In response to the President’s remarks, Ticketmaster issued a statement saying that it “strongly supports ticketing reforms that will benefit artists and fans, prevent fraud and clean up fraudulent practices in resale markets.”
“These basic steps should be the things everyone agrees on, including mandating all-in pricing and outlawing speculative ticketing,” the statement read, The New York Times reported. “We stand ready to work with the president and Congress on many common-sense ticketing reforms, while also speaking out against proposed legislation that would benefit scalpers over artists and fans.”
Will Beyonce become another Taylor Swift Situation?
In November 2022, Ticketmaster promised to open up sales for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans ahead of general public ticket sales for her latest tour. Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster, dropped the ball and more than 14 million users (including bots) went to the Ticketmaster site to buy tickets, causing lockouts on the site.
Ticketmaster says it is working to make sure Beyoncé ticket sales go a lot smoother.
“Demand for this tour is expected to be high. If there is more demand than there are tickets available, a lottery-style selection process will determine which Verified Fans get a unique access code and which are placed on the wait list,” Ticketmaster said on its website. The access code “does not guarantee tickets.”
Renaissance World Tour … at a City Near You
The Renaissance World Tour is slated to begin on May 10 at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Her first tour date in the U.S. is July 12 in Philadelphia. The American leg of the tour includes stops in Chicago, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and her hometown, Houston.
Tickets went on sale Feb. 6.
The most secure and safest way to prepare tickets is on the official Renaissance World Tour website.