The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

In our Renaissance Era

The economics of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift’s billion dollar tours

Beyoncé embarked upon the Renaissance World Tour on May 10, 2023, beginning her ninth and highest-grossing tour. The tour began as the North American leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour ended, both of which have become national phenomena. Both tours have impacted the domestic economy greatly, primarily through tickets and spending around venues. 

The Renaissance Tour cements itself as the highest-grossing string of concerts performed by a female artist in history. Billboard reported that Beyoncé raked in roughly $300 million from July and August alone, contributing to a $2.1 billion total in revenue. Swift has seen similar success, with the Eras tour projected to have earned roughly $1.4 billion. 

With increased business in areas where the two artists performed, Swift and Beyoncé greatly contributed to consumer spending. The New York Times and QuestionPro have estimated that the Renaissance Tour will garner around $4.5 billion each for the economy. According to GlobalNewsWire, on the opening night of the Eras Tour in Glendale, Arizona, the concert brought in more revenue for local businesses than Super Bowl LVII, held in February 2023 at the same stadium. 

In early November 2022, the Eras Tour received major media attention for the ticket-buying process. “Buying tickets for the Eras Tour was a complete disaster. I waited in Ticketmaster queues for over six hours and didn’t even purchase tickets through the queues I waited in … They sold out, or the website crashed,” said Delilah Ricciardi ‘25. 

Sonya Cheris ‘27 described what it was like looking for Renaissance tickets on third-party websites. “When I looked at [costs]… they were around $2,200, and those were the average seats! Some were [$]1,100, which was the cheapest I could find.”

After tickets sell out on Ticketmaster, scalpers often list them on third-party websites at inflated prices. According to StubHub, tickets for the two tours resold for very high prices, with the Eras Tour seeing costs of around $1,600 and Renaissance seeing $1000. 

Because the tours sold out rapidly, fans had to decide whether to spend large sums of money on resold tickets or forgo the concert experience altogether. 

Urban English teacher Lindsey Collins attended the Renaissance Tour, although they originally did not expect to be able to go due to the steep price of tickets. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to go until the week before,” they said. “But then a friend was giving away tickets, and [I was] able to make it work … I think for this show, people just spent a lot of money. Not just rich people. Some people just made it work and put it on a credit card. ”

Aside from tickets costing hundreds of dollars, many people faced additional expenses from traveling to different cities or states. However, spending extra to go across the country can benefit the economy. Airline companies make more money, and hotels and local restaurants benefit, too, since people need places to stay. According to Dan Rascher, president of SportsEconomics, LLC, Swift’s two dates in Santa Clara County had a net economic impact of around $33.5 million, coming from people paying for hotels near Levi’s Stadium, flying into Bay Area airports, buying food close to the venue, merchandise and tickets. 

While the Eras and Renaissance tours carried hefty price tags for fans, consumer spending contributed to the United States economy. According to TIME magazine, a national study of concert-goers shows that even with an average of more than $1,300 spent per event, 91% said they would do it again.

Despite the Eras Tour concert’s price tag, Daisy Meritt ‘24 expressed no regrets about paying to see Swift live. “The Eras Tour is so much more than just a concert,” said Meritt. “I’ve never been anywhere else that was [so] extravagant and amazing.” 

About the Contributor
Sofia Arango
Sofia Arango, Managing Editor, Online