Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster Scandal


Peytie Chambers

The queue for the “Eras Tour” presale.

Taylor Swift announced she is organizing a world tour called the “Eras Tour.” Fans who had registered as a Ticketmaster Verified Fan would receive a special code to allow them to purchase tickets for presale for tickets beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15. However, fans that received these codes experienced wait times that lasted sometimes hours. Some fans also experienced “error” messages and getting kicked out of the queue. Resale prices for the tickets can be priced anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

The debate has also reignited concerns about splitting up Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation, which combined companies in 2010, that control 70% of primary ticketing and live events. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said that he would be looking into whether Ticketmaster violated consumer protection laws during the Eras Tour presale due to the number of complaints that he had received. Skrmetti had also previously been asked to look into antitrust allegations involving Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

The Ticketmaster company blamed the issues on “technical issues” or “bot attacks.” Ticketmaster said, “over 3.5 million people had registered for the presale event making this the largest registration in history.” 1.5 million people were given the codes but Ticketmaster points to just “too much unprecedented traffic” on the site which I think are weak excuses as the company knew this ticket sale would be huge yet they were still very unprepared. I was able to obtain a presale code if the site crashed multiple times and after many hours of waiting, I was able to enter the seat selection to find only a few seats left leaving me to scrounge for the first tickets I saw before they sold. Ticketmaster also attempted to defend itself with a statement, which read, “Over 2 million tickets were sold for Taylor’s shows on Nov. 15…every ticket was sold to a buyer with a Verified Fan code.” to show that fans with a presale code had an advantage though a very small one.

But, what I found really aggravating was when Ticketmaster canceled the general public sale, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18, due to all of the tickets being sold during the presale. Just thinking about all of the fans who had hoped to get tickets but who had their opportunities extinguished really did not sit well with me. I feel all fans, new or old, should get an opportunity to see their favorite artist. Fans knew the chances of getting a ticket would be slim but now their chances had been reduced to zero. With the overwhelming amount of demand for these tickets, Ticketmaster released a statement on Thursday, Nov. 17 afternoon that signified the cancellation of the general ticket sale, holding the responsible culprit for this decision being “high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient inventory.”

This leaves the Taylor Swift fans that were not able to obtain tickets during presale or were planning to try during the general public sale, to be left grasping for overpriced resale tickets for a chance to see Swift on her tour.