Swifties vs. Ticketmaster


Hailey Timmerman, Editor

The downfall of Taylor Swift’s ticket sales

“I get to see Taylor Swift!!” are the words that many Swifties said to themselves on the evening of Thursday, November 17th, the night before the public sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour, The Eras Tour. They would soon come to find that they never stood a chance. The tickets were gone. But where did they go?

Going back to before the ticket sales, Taylor Swift announced her upcoming US tour called The Eras Tour on November 1st, 2022. Fans across the country were thrilled! Fourteen days later, on November 14th, fans waited anxiously for their verified fan codes to be sent out by Ticketmaster. These are codes that some fans had previously signed up for on November 1st, allowing those fans to receive early access to the extremely sought after tickets. It was on Tuesday, November 15th when the presale began, as fans who received a code quickly joined the queue on Ticketmaster and fought their way to the front of the digital line. This is where the first issue arose. According to Ticketmaster, there were approximately 14 million people on the site during this presale. But in reality, only about 2 million people received codes. In the end, the company claims to have sold 2.4 million tickets that day. 

The next day, the exclusive sale to only Capital One card holders began. This is a sale in which if you have a Capital One credit card, you receive early access to tickets. Following this sale, which sold an unknown amount of tickets,  fans waited around eagerly longing with anticipation for tomorrow’s sale. That Friday was supposed to be the general sale of what was left of the precious tickets. This general sale was when any fan anywhere could buy a ticket for the tour, no code or special card needed. But just as anticipation began to have fans on their toes, they checked their social media, seeing that Ticketmaster came out and revealed that the general sale was canceled. This left millions of fans shut out of purchasing tickets all together. This was ultimately a huge shock, and an extreme disappointment. So in the end, what happened? 

To begin, the artist typically makes the major share of the ticket-sale profits and they are the ones who choose how the tickets are priced. In this case, it is possible Ticketmaster used a dynamic pricing system which priced the tickets based upon the demand for them. For Taylor Swift, it was obviously very high. But along with this, both Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift have the power to restrict ticket sales and bots. Which clearly, neither party is restricting. A system of paperless ticketing could have been used. Adding a name to every ticket, like an airline, to reduce scalpers and ensure real fans were getting real tickets could have been done to resolve the issue. But Ticketmaster blames the surge in demand. Taylor Swift came out Friday morning with a statement claiming she was as devastated as her fans were. She explains how she had asked Ticketmaster plenty of times if they would be able to handle the kind of demand her tickets would bring, and they replied yes every single time. She stated, “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”

So in the end, we are left wondering how this all happened. Some can blame Ticketmaster, others can blame Taylor, and many can blame both. Both parties could have done more to prevent this problem that resulted in plenty of devastated fans. There are clearly many questions left unanswered. We feel the blame is on the demand for tickets, and that scalpers had to have beat the real fans to it. But where did the tickets go? What amount of true fans actually got tickets? From how it looks, we may never know. Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift are under a lot of heat, and we may never know who is at fault. 

* Image via Pixabay.com