Lifestyle / The Nation and the World

Fans are in outrage after a Ticketmaster disaster

On November 1, 2022, Taylor Swift announced her widely anticipated “Eras Tour” after her new album, Midnights. However, what could’ve been a nationwide celebration turned into widespread discontent after Ticketmaster, the ticket sales company used for the tour, underwent significant malfunctions. 

The selection process for Ticketmaster Verified Fan presales began on November 14, when access codes were sent out to randomly selected prospective customers. According to Ticketmaster, over 3.5 million people pre-registered for the presale, and 1.5 million of them were sent codes for purchasing tickets. There were a remaining 2 million people who were placed on a waitlist on the chance that there might be tickets still available after the sale. On the following day, the presale was flooded with 3.5 billion total system requests, when the queue opened at 10:00 AM EST. 

The site experienced crashes, people in the queue were often displaced due to errors, and issues with password validation caused users to lose tickets they had placed in their carts. Ella Calistri ‘25 was one of the many people who experienced these problems during the sale. She stated, “I was at one point first in line in the queue, then all of a sudden, my site crashed and I was unable to join back into the line. Once it took a long time to reload, I was in but I had been booted back to the very end of the queue with 2000+ people in front of me. I stayed on the site for three more hours, but by the time I reached the front, all of the tickets were sold out.” 

Across the country, thousands of fans experienced the same issues and expressed their disappointment in Ticketmasters’ planning to maintain their system’s functions. Taylor Swift released a statement on Instagram in response to her fans’ complaints. She wrote, “ 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. 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.”

In response to this, Ticketmaster also issued a statement, apologizing and explaining the reasons behind the site’s malfunctions. They stated their desire to “apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets.” In addition, they expanded on the problems that the unprecedented demand for the sale caused, which was over four times their previous peak requests. 

After the Verified Fan presale, there was supposed to be a presale for Capital One card holders, as well as general sales for those who were unable to obtain presale codes. However, with the low availability of seats in combination with the high demand for them, the public sales for the tickets were canceled. This meant that the remaining population of fans without tickets were only able to purchase them through resale, which had prices as high as 30,000 dollars for a single ticket. There is no price cap on the resales market, which made a majority of fans unwilling to purchase them through this method. 

On December 14, Ticketmaster sent an email to some selected people for a chance to purchase two tickets for the tour. However, in order to buy them, customers have to name a price and seats would be selected without the decision or knowledge of the purchaser. Even with this extra opportunity, a great number of people were unable to find available seats in their prospective shows. 

Although the process of acquiring tickets to the concerts was “frustrating” and “upsetting” according to fans on Twitter, Ticketmaster has promised to “[work] to shore up our tech for the new bar that has been set by demand for the Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour. Once we get through that, if there are any next steps, updates will be shared accordingly.”

Image Source: Ticketmaster Blog

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