The Senate Judiciary Committee warned Ticketmaster that they’ll be watching what happens with ticket sales for Beyoncé’s recently announced Renaissance tour.
The committee’s Twitter account said, “We’re watching, [Ticketmaster],” in response to a headline announcing the tour. The warning comes on the heels of a highly-publicized disaster with ticket sales for Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour last November.
We’re watching, @Ticketmaster. https://t.co/LuWjoXrWX4
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) February 2, 2023
Multiple senators blasted Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, during a hearing about the ticket sales fiasco. This was all spurred by allegations that Ticketmaster has monopolized the industry after merging with Live Nation in 2010.
When fans tried to purchase tickets for the Eras tour after pre-registering, the entire site crashed, leaving some people waiting in line for hours only to never secure their tickets. Eventually, the general sale was called off because demand was too high to match availability.
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said they were simply not equipped to handle the demand for Swift concert tickets.
“We invited a million and a half on that day to come and buy those tickets, but it’s kind of like having a party,” he explained. “Everybody crashed that door at the same time with 3.5 billion requests.”
“We sold 2 million tickets, the most we’ve ever sold in one day in history, and another million tickets of other artists on the same day,” Rapino continued. “So although we regret it was a slowdown in some queues and some error codes for a short period for some fans, we did manage to recover.”
“This whole concert ticket system is a mess — it’s a monopolistic mess,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said during the hearing.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) agreed. “I believe in capitalism, and to have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition,” she said. “You can’t have too much consolidation – something that unfortunately for this country, as an ode to Taylor Swift, I will say we know ‘All Too Well.’”
Live Nation anticipates that ticket demand for the Renaissance tour will be high, but they’ve put some new systems in place to help avoid what happened before.
The company wrote in an email to fans this week that the number of pre-sale registrations “already exceed the number of available tickets by more than 800%” in some locations, per The New York Post.
“It is expected that many interested fans may not be able to get tickets because demand drastically exceeds supply,” the email said.
Some measures used to facilitate the buying process include staggered sales and Verified Fan technology, which was also used for Swift’s concert tickets. This is done to avoid tickets being resold by third-party sites for inflated prices.