Ticketmaster in Shambles amid “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour”


A photograph of “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” promotion. On Nov. 1, 2022, Swift announced The Eras Tour.

She is a record breaker at the Grammys, holder of all top 10 spots of the Hot 100, and sold the most tickets in a single day on Ticketmaster. She is Taylor Swift

On Nov. 1, 2022, Swift announced The Eras Tour. “I’m enchanted to announce my next tour: Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour, a journey through the musical eras of my career (past and present)!” said Swift in her social media announcement. Following the announcement of her first tour since the Reputation Stadium Tour five years ago, social media networks exploded with eager fans awaiting ticket information. That same day, a link went out on Twitter and Ticketmaster where fans could sign up for an opportunity to be in the Verified Fan presale, but this did not guarantee fans tickets, let alone a spot in the presale. “It was kind of stressful, especially since I was in school during the time,” said senior Sophia Shelton. “I remember when she posted the presale signup, I did it as fast as possible!”

 The Verified Fan presale opened at 10 a.m. local venue time on Nov. 15 for fans who were selected through a lottery system on the 14th, giving them a code to enter when the presale opened. However, a major problem was that fans were not asked for this code until checkout, allowing those without codes onto the site. Junior Clairice Lou said, “I think the main problem was so many people getting on the website at the same time and also Ticketmaster itself not doing their job as a website. They also sent out way too many presale codes.” In attempts to fix the problem, Ticketmaster paused the site, which caused delays and crashes, leading fans and bots to endure hours of waiting. In addition, some people who were near the front of the line got pushed to the back. 

 The Capital One presale was scheduled to open at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15, but was moved to Nov. 16 at 2.pm. due to the time differences between the east and west coast as the east coast still did not have tickets at the time the west coast was entering. After the same struggles occurred during the Capital One presale, Ticketmaster canceled the general admission ticket sale stating, “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been canceled.”

Fans were angered by the fact that those who got into the que earlier were able to buy less expensive tickets than those who got in later. Fans who got into the que later due to being pushed back were left with the remaining tickets, most of which were VIP tickets. “The main problem was there were so many people that got presale that were just looking to buy tickets to up the price when people like me and so many of my friends are actual fans of Taylor Swift,” said junior Anna Flintoft. As the demand for tickets rapidly increased, the resale market asked for prices ranging up to $95,000 per person! “I think the problem was just, one, the unexpected demand and not having the resources to provide for that, and also the ticket prices as well,” said Shelton. “They were insanely high; I’ve been to very high end artists and have never spent that much on ticket shows.” The resale market prices were significantly more than the price originally set by Swift. Despite this, she broke the record for the most tickets sold by an artist in a single day with over 2 million sold! 

Angered by the situation, Swift released a statement to fans. Below is an excerpt of her statement: 

 “Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans. We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house. I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”

In response to Swift’s statement, Ticketmaster responded by apologizing to her and her fans. “We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets. We feel we owe it to everyone to share some information to help explain what happened.” In addition, they provided a detailed account explaining what happened, however, many fans believe that Ticketmaster issued this statement to deflect blame. The lengthy statement goes through statistics, the record breaking demands, and traffic numbers. “The biggest venues and artists turn to us because we have the leading ticketing technology in the world – that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and clearly for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour onsale it wasn’t,” said Ticketmaster. “But we’re always working to improve the ticket buying experience.” Despite this, the Department of Justice and several attorneys are investigating Ticketmaster for antitrust violations and whether or not the company holds a monopoly over the industry. In addition, Swift fans are individually suing Ticketmaster. On Jan. 24, 2023, the Senate held a hearing discussing the matter. Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, claimed that bots were the ultimate issue saying,  “[the bots] required us to slow down and even pause our sales. This is what led to a terrible customer service experience that we deeply regret.” 

In spite of the situation, many Swift’s fans were able to shake it off due to their outpouring love for the music sensation. “I love Taylor Swift because there’s always a song for whatever mood you’re in,” said Flintoft. “I like Taylor Swift because she makes so many different types of music so no matter what mood I’m in, I can listen to her music and experience it in different ways, said Shelton. “I feel like I grew up with her albums.” Lou said, “her music is so inspiring and people can relate to her songs on so many different levels.” The Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Ticketmaster fiasco was not expected even in wildest dreams, but will be remembered for its controversy and chaos for years to come.