WEST HOLLYWOOD (CelebrityAccess) – On Tuesday (November 15), ticketing goliath and Live Nation (LN) owned Ticketmaster (TM) hosted several pre-sales for Taylor Swift’s recently announced Eras Tour. However, TM couldn’t handle the amount of Swifties battling for a ticket to see their favorite singer as fans raged on social media about the website not loading or, worse, not allowing them access to any tickets – even with the “verified fan” pre-sale code. Swift decided to participate in the TM “verified fan” program – a system set up to catch and deter bots and scalpers, which comes with a pre-sale code for those fans selected to participate. Oops – Bad Blood anyone?
“This is no longer a Taylor Swift fan account – this is now a Ticketmaster hate account,” a fan posted on Twitter. One of many echoes the same sentiment and calls for the dissolution of TM and Live Nation (LN). Another posted on Instagram, “You knew the kind of demand that there were on these tickets. Why didn’t you set your service up to be able to handle this amount of traffic?” Some fans demanded TM to “FIX IT,” and some even took an entire day off work to score seats – calling for wage reimbursement from LN.
View this post on Instagram
TM responded to Swift’s tour sale breaking the internet and issued a statement to those frustrated with the website’s performance. In the statement, they note that there’s “historically unprecedented demand” for Swift’s 52-date US tour, and they’re processing the orders they’ve received. In the statement, they told those in the queue to “hang tight,” and that tickets would become available. However, it appears that wasn’t the case, as many left TM without seats to see Swift in all her “Bejeweled” glory. Several fans have reported queue waits lasting up to 6 hours or more, and many found that they were too late once they could purchase tickets (ranging from $49 – $449 per seat). The lucky ones who could buy tickets quickly posted them back online for resale for thousands and thousands of dollars. Ticket resale site StubHub had a set of tickets listed for $22,700.
Fans on the West Coast had their pre-sale time delayed by three hours, moving from 10 am PT to 3 pm PT, but even that didn’t curb the amount of traffic or TM’s troubles in keeping up. Another pre-sale is scheduled for today at 2 pm through Capital One. According to TMZ, TM states all presale codes sent out will continue to work up until the end dates for each pre-sale.
Music fans have long since been frustrated with TM’s high fees, limited ticket availability, and “gatekeeping” presale codes – complaining enough that Capitol Hill finally took notice.
New York House democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after seeing numerous fan posts online, “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation should never have been approved and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.”
Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.
Break them up.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2022
Democratic US lawmaker David Cicilline wrote on Twitter, “@Tickemaster’s excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today’s @taylorswift13tickets.” In addition, he called for the Justice Department to investigate as “It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly.” Cicilline currently sits as the Chair of the House of Representatives antitrust panel.
Swift’s Eras Tour begins March 18 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, and as of today, will end August 5 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA – her first US outing since 2018.