Millions of fans competed on November 15 to get tickets in the verified fan presale for Taylor Swift’s long-awaited tour: The Eras Tour.
What fans hoped would be a smooth ticket-buying process soon turned catastrophic. The immense amount of traffic caused Ticketmaster’s site to crash, and many fans were stuck in the queue for hours before they could purchase tickets – or at least attempt to. Ticketmaster released an update on Twitter, saying they were dealing with a “historically unprecedented demand.”
These events caused an uproar online and many people questioned Ticketmaster’s reliability. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying, “Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.”
Ticketmaster then tweeted on Thursday that the public on-sale, which was scheduled to occur on Friday, had been canceled due to high demand and insufficient ticket inventory.
Swift expressed her disappointment in a statement posted to her Instagram story on Friday, saying, “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them (Ticketmaster), multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”
This will be Swift’s first tour in almost five years, since the tour for her album “Lover” was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the release of three albums and two re-recorded albums, it is no surprise that there is a high demand for these tickets – possibly the highest in history. Two million tickets were sold during presale alone. Although, for being the number one ticket-purchasing website in the world, Ticketmaster should have been more prepared.
The verified fan presale was meant to be a preventative measure for bots and scalpers. However, Ticketmaster admitted that they were unprepared, saying that the number of bots and fans without presale codes drove “unprecedented traffic” on the site. Ticketmaster sent out 1.5 million codes, but 14 million people accessed the site at the time of the presale. All of this could have been prevented if they had asked fans for their presale codes before entering the queue.
Take it from me: it is deeply disappointing to sit in the queue for hours just for there to be no tickets left when you finally get through. Ticketmaster promised a smoother experience for fans with the verified fan presale, but they did not deliver. They underestimated the demand there would be for this tour and sold most of the tickets during the presale. Now the fans who didn’t get presale access do not have the opportunity to purchase tickets during the public on-sale. Fans who couldn’t get tickets are forced to resort to ticket reselling websites, where tickets are sold for thousands.
Another issue people have with Ticketmaster is the service fees that are added to the price of the tickets.
In the words of Lorelai Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls,” “Buy some tickets at Ticketmaster and wind up paying more in service charges than it would cost you to see the band.” There is no need for the fees to cost more than the actual ticket. If anything, they should’ve used the service fees to provide the service that fans were promised.
However, this is not the first time that Ticketmaster’s flaws have been brought to light. They have taken advantage of fans for years now, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The events of The Eras Tour presale have encouraged the Justice Department to launch an investigation into Ticketmaster for abusing their power over the live music industry. Hopefully, this investigation will be the first step in taking them down.
I speak for many fans when I say that I am tired of Ticketmaster’s false promises. It is time to hold Ticketmaster accountable and give loyal fans an improved system. Ticketmaster is a monopoly that needs to be broken up and the karma that they deserve is finally catching up to them. To quote Swift’s “Karma”: “Karma’s a relaxing thought. Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?”