The good news is: Taylor Swift's tour was such a disaster for Ticketmaster and the fans who got shut out, the company is promising change — and U.S. Senators are even demanding it.
The bad news: Those fixes probably won't come soon enough to do much good for Beyoncé fans.
Ticketmaster is at least trying one possibly significant new approach in the case of Queen Bey's upcoming tour, tickets for which go on sale starting next week: The 47 concerts on her itinerary are going on sale over three different phases/days instead of one. This will hopefully avert system overload, like what happened with Swift's tour.
The Minneapolis concert — scheduled July 20 at the Gophers' Huntington Bank Stadium — is in "Group B," registration for which via Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program ends Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The general on-sale is then expected on Feb. 18, with presale access starting Feb. 13.
Beyond that, though, Beyoncé fans may still have to wait many hours in Ticketmaster's virtual queue; and yes, they still may not get a shot at good seats or any seats even after waiting.
Here are tips — most of them anecdotal, not scientific — to optimize your chances for the Renaissance Tour and any similar concerts. The rumored Adele tour, for instance, could similarly have fans begging for Ticketmaster to go easy on them.
1. Preregister now. Go to Beyonce.com or Ticketmaster.com and sign up for your chosen concert's Verified Fan program; it's really a must-do at this point. Give them a little of your info, then they send a code to your phone to verify you're not a "bot." You'll then get an email confirmation — essentially a lottery ticket for a chance to have ticket access. Another email will come later if you get that access with a time window to buy; and that's still not a promise for tickets, as millions of Swift fans will tell you.
2. Try multiple accounts and devices. Experienced ticket buyers will tell you to double or triple up on your buying efforts. Use your work email for one account via your phone, your personal email via your laptop, your Uncle Bruce's email on your kid's school tablet, etc. However, a separate phone number is required in each case for the verification code.
3. Use presale options if possible. Beyoncé's tour is offering presale access for BeyHive fan club members, Citi credit-card holders and Verizon Up subscribers. These options are not required and are probably not worth paying extra for if you are not already members of those clubs. But they seem to at least modestly increase chances.
4. Do prep work day of sale. Set alarms 15 to 20 minutes before the on-sale time. Have your device(s) open and ready to go. Pre-enter credit-card information and any other necessary info under your Ticketmaster account. Check your links and be ready to click them right at the start time (usually 10 a.m.).
5. And then wait. In the case of Swift's tour, many fans who joined the queue right at 10 a.m. did not get access to tickets until 5 p.m. or later. Thankfully, you don't have to stare at your screen(s) the whole time. You just need to keep the window open on your device.
6. Maybe try refreshing. Ticketmaster explicitly instructs buyers not to refresh their computer/phone screens once in the virtual queue, or you will lose your place in line. However, I accidentally hit refresh around 2 p.m. during the Swift ordeal in November, and lo and behold the ticket-buying window opened a minute or two later. The same thing happened to a friend. Just saying. It's a gamble, but it might be worth trying if you're still stuck after a couple of hours.
7. Check back. If you're turned away once you get to the ticket window or don't like the seats offered to you, new seats often open up as orders fall through. Sometimes it will even say a show is sold-out, but then a few minutes later tickets are available again. Emphasis on "sometimes."
8. Or just wait for last-minute resale tickets. Research shows — including our own report in 2016 — that ticket prices on resale sites such as Stubhub and SeatGeek typically fall the day of the show or a day or two earlier. This is especially true for single-seat purchases. Rarely has demand been so high as with Beyoncé or Swift, though, so we aren't making any promises.