How Beyonce Protected Young Fans By Screening Over 60,000 For Pedophiles At Renaissance Tour

BY Edwin Lamptey November 16, 2023 10:58 AM EDT
Beyonce Photo source: Instagram/@beyonce

After the successful release of Beyonce’’s seventh studio album, RENAISSANCE, the global superstar and BeyHive Queen announced a Renaissance World Tour, her first solo tour in over six years.

This year’s tour was produced by Parkwood Entertainment, and promoted by Live Nation. The world tour began on May 10, 2023, at Friends Arena in Stockholm, SE, making stops throughout Europe in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Paris, London, Marseille, Amsterdam, Warsaw and more.

The Halo singer’s Cardiff show was her third visit to the home of Welsh Rugby, as she performed in the Welsh city in 2016, followed by 2018, as part of her much-celebrated On The Run II Tour, and her first-ever joint tour with Jay-Z.

Fans numbering about 60,000 trooped to Cardiff to see the superstar commence the UK leg of her world tour. Beyhive die-hard fans from the United States, Lebanon, and Australia started queuing 12 hours before the show started at the Principality Stadium just to paint a picture of how many anticipated the ‘queen’s return’. 

Fans shared their excitement of having to experience the queen in her elements

15-year-old George Crooker from New South Wales in Australia was overly elated to be at the concert. 

“I’m so thankful that this opportunity has come, that I finally get to see her. She is a goddess, she’s my mother. She is my absolute queen… she’s just everything in a person. Everything about her is just perfect.”

“We’re Beyoncé superfans. I’m going to be close up and I’d love if she looked at me, if she winked at me, if she sweated on me. Literally anything, I would be grateful for.” —This was a statement from Skye who traveled with her mum, Sheila all the way from Philadelphia in the United States. 

Something exceptional was done at the Cardiff concert to help protect the numerous young people who were in attendance at the Renaissance World Tour concert.  

The South Wales Police scanned the crowds attending the Beyoncé concert in Cardiff for pedophiles and terrorists using facial recognition technology. 

According to Alun Michael, the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner stated that searching for potential terrorists at such events had become normal since the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

He further revealed that pedophiles were also targeted as “there would be very large numbers of young girls [and boys] attending that concert”.

Alan Michael was one of Wales’s police and crime commissioners providing evidence in Westminster as part of an inquiry looking into how forces tackle crime.

A live facial recognition camera works by comparing faces with a “watch list” generated by police. The CCTV footage is recorded and kept for up to 31 days.

Some human rights activists expressed displeasure as they believed doing that at the concert was discriminating. 

Katy Watts, a lawyer for the human rights group Liberty, previously, for instance, expressed that the technology “entrenches patterns of discrimination in policing” and “violates” the privacy of thousands.

But Michael, on the other hand, held a contrary opinion. 

“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding thinking that images are captured and kept – they’re not. The only image that is retained is of an individual who’s identified as being one of the people you’re looking for.”

Michael further explained that he felt the general approach taken by South Wales Police when using the tool was the right one as he shared with the MPs on the Welsh Affairs Committee. 

“The view beforehand was that a watchlist should consist of two sets of individuals. People known to be involved in extremism and terrorism in the light of the Manchester arena bombing – and secondly of pedophiles, because there would be very large numbers of young people attending that concert. That was announced in advance and reported to me, it wasn’t secretive. It seemed to me entirely sensible.”