Upon the release of her new album, Midnights, Taylor Swift recently announced a highly speculated tour. She deemed this the ‘Eras’ tour, advertised as a glimpse into the many albums and eras of Taylor Swift. The tour offers a wide array of openers including popular artists such as Paramore, Phoebe Bridgers, Girl in Red, Gracie Abrams and more. Swift’s last tour was the ‘Reputation’ stadium tour in 2018 and she has since released four new studio albums, as well as two re-recorded albums. All things considered, tickets had been in high demand since before the 52-date tour was even made public. Fans immediately stormed social media with excitement and preparation for the tour’s presale. What they didn’t know is that they’d soon fall victim to a ‘historically unprecedented’ rush for tickets and a Ticketmaster nightmare.
On presale day, fans awaited the 10am rollout of ticket availability, but were instead met with a galore of delays and setbacks. The site in charge of Swift’s tour sale is Ticketmaster, an American ticket distributor based in Beverly Hills, California. They pride themselves on having the “leading ticketing technology in the world” which explains why Taylor’s team put the fate of their Era’s Tour ticketing distribution in Ticketmaster’s hands. Despite Swift’s trust in Ticketmaster’s system, the site would soon become a battleground for customers everywhere. Within hours of the presale launch, the site and its viewers were experiencing glitches, crashing, long waiting times and the loss of already carted tickets. Ticketmaster quickly took to twitter to state that hundreds of thousands of tickets had already been sold and that the presale for west coast dates had to be moved to 3pm that day. By the end of the presale, over 2 million tickets had been sold, breaking the record for the most tickets sold for one artist in a single day. Aside from this, many fans were left empty-handed and angered by the encounters they faced with Ticketmaster’s website.
Despite this horrific turn of events, the worst had yet to come. For those whose hopes resided in the anticipation of a general ticket sale, hearts would soon be shattered. Days after the presale, Ticketmaster announced through a tweet that the general ticket sale planned for November 18th had been cancelled due to insufficient ticket inventory. The following Friday, Swift responded to the situation via Instagram stories, saying that she and her team were “assured” that Ticketmaster could “handle” the expectedly high ticket demand they were responsible for. She then offers sentiment in saying that she hopes her and her fans will have another opportunity to “get together and sing these songs.”
In a blog post from Ticketmaster that has since been taken down, the company tried to downplay the incident by stating that only 15% of buyers dealt with difficulties on their site. Since then, a new post has been made with an introductory apology, followed up with reasoning as to why the ticket presale went in the direction it had. They argue that a “staggering number of bot attacks” as well as fans without presale codes contributed to the result of the sale. This debacle has caused enough uproar among fans and spectators to grab the attention of the Biden Administration. A hearing has since been announced on behalf of the U.S. Senate, in which they will discuss the harm that the ticketing industry projects onto customers and artists.
If you’re still out for tickets, your only chance falls upon customer resale. Sites like StubHub and VividSeats have nosebleed seating options priced at $400 minimum, and main level tickets priced at up to over $5,000. Many radio stations have also gotten their hands on tickets, and have executed many random giveaways throughout the last few weeks. Overall, the entirety of this event has wreaked havoc among Swifties everywhere, and will go down in history as a possible contributing factor to Ticketmaster’s downfall. If you were able to get your hands on tickets for Taylor Swift’s most anticipated tour, you are one of a lucky few. To those who are still hoping, we’ll see if Taylor can pull off any miracles in getting those remaining tickets out there.