As expected, Beyoncé has announced her latest world tour in connection with her stellar and multiply Grammy-nominated 2022 album Renaissance, and she will be swinging through the Bay Area on August 30.
The Renaissance Tour, which kicks off in May in Stockholm, is Beyoncé's first solo tour since 2016, and tickets are no doubt going to be in high demand. As the New York Times explains it, "Limited tickets for certain tour dates will go on sale beginning Monday for members of Beyoncé’s BeyHive fan club, followed by the staggered release of additional tickets by market, using a complex registration system for various tiers of buyer."
Sales for the tour will be done through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan system, which aims to limit ticket grabs by scalpers and bots, though this will be the first major test of whether the system actually works since the recent Taylor Swift meltdown. The Verified Fan system will essentially function like a lottery, shuffling some people onto a waitlist for tickets while others will be granted an access code to buy right away.
This is the first time Beyoncé is out performing new material since 2016's Formation Tour, which also made stops at Levi's Stadium. Local demand for Bey was high enough back then that a second tour date was added at Levi's — she performed the same show there in May and again in September 2016. She came back in 2018 on the On the Run II Tour with husband Jay-Z.
This tour schedule is pretty packed already, but so far there are no double dates announced for any US cities — and there is wiggle room, it looks like, to add a second date at Levi's before or after August 30, with an earlier show four days before in Las Vegas, and the next date three days later in L.A.
Beyoncé has said that Renaissance, which was released to immediate acclaim last summer, is Act One of a three-act project that she conceived during the pandemic. Critics and fans have noted that the album represents Beyoncé at her most relaxed and whimsical, and it's the first time that her music has so directly embraced Black queer culture and dance music.
She says, "My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom."
More recently, Beyoncé faced some fan backlash last month for performing at the opening of a luxury hotel in Dubai — for which she was reportedly paid $24 million, per BuzzFeed, and she didn't do any material from Renaissance. Given the United Arab Emirates' strict laws criminalizing homosexuality, many fans felt it was problematic that Beyoncé would accept their invitation (or their money), especially after putting out this album.
As writer Douglas Greenwood put it, "No beef but I’m struggling to understand why Beyoncé, who has half a billion dollars, would accept 20 million dollars to make her debut performance of the Renaissance album, a record which lifts heavily from queer culture, in Dubai, a country where LGBT rights aren’t recognised. I get it, everyone wants their coin, but when you’re THAT rich, is it THAT worth it?"
Other fans have pointed out that LGBTQ fans living under oppressive governments shouldn't be punished for their governments' stances — and Lady Gaga has performed multiple times in Dubai, and she is even more vocal in her support of her LGBTQ fans.
Top image: Beyoncé at Atlantis The Royal on January 21, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)