Beyonce, Blowing Up Box Offices Before Formation Stadium Tour, Looks to Be the Queen of Touring

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch
Beyonce performs onstage during the 2015 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sept. 5, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sellouts make case for Bey’s status as world’s top female touring artist.

With all of America and half of Europe on the market, sales for Beyonce’s upcoming stadium tour are “beyond fantastic,” according to Arthur Fogel, chairman of Live Nation Global Touring, promoters of Bey’s Formation world tour.

Formation has already sold out two New York shows (June 7-8 at Citi Field), two London show (July 203 at Wembley Stadium), and just added a second Chicago night (May 27-28 at Soldier Field). Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, San Diego, Miami, Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston, and Santa Clara, Calif., are all clean, and others are headed that way. Even Nashville’s Nissan Stadium date May 5, which went on sale to the general public this morning amid the local police union's call for a boycott due to a perceived anti-police message in Beyonce’s performance at Super Bowl 50 halftime, is strong out of the box, with sales standing at over 33,000 for a gross of $4 million. Overall, the 39-date tour, which begins April 27 at Marlins Field in Miami, has already taken in over $100 million in ticket sales, with Beyonce inevitably headed toward a sold-out run and one of the hottest tours of 2016.

Even Taylor Swift, whose 1989 tour last year topped all artists at $250 million gross and 2.3 million attendance to 83 shows, according to Boxscore, did not play stadiums exclusively. In fact, only one act, The Rolling Stones, played all stadiums in 2016, and only Coldplay has joined Beyonce in rolling out a full-on stadium tour for 2016 -- so far.

As producer of many of the highest-grossing tours in history, including the biggest tour ever in U2’s 360 tour of 2009-2011, Fogel knows a home run when he sees one. “When you go up [on sale] and sell out stadiums, and in some markets multiple stadiums,” Fogel tells Billboard, “it’s big." 

Calling the synergies from the drop of the “Formation” single and its accompanying video, the Super Bowl performance with Coldplay, and the tour announcement “genius,” Fogel says, “I have to congratulate the great team on our side that does these things, and I congratulate her team, because it was all really well done, well set up, and well-executed all the way around.”

Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter World Tour of 2013-2014 grossed $212 million from attendance of nearly 2 million across 126 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. Following that tour, she embarked on the On The Run co-headlining stadium tour with her husband, Jay Z, which grossed $96 million from 832,769 tickets sold across just 19 shows in North America. Now, with another $200 million-plus blockbuster -- this time a sold-out stadium run -- the case can be made, reliably, that Beyonce is the biggest female touring act in the world.