After days of glitches, endless waiting, a crashed website and frustrated fans attempting to purchase the Taylor Swift tickets during presale windows, tickets to see the ‘Anti-Hero’ hitmaker live in concert sold so ‘swiftly’ that the general public never even got a chance to buy them. Ticketing platform Ticketmaster announced that they are cancelling the public sale for ‘The Eras Tour’ amid “extraordinarily high demand.” They have already sold over a record-breaking two million tickets in pre-sales for select groups, while receiving severe backlash from fans, celebrities and even politicians.
Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow's public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022
“Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled,” the ticketing broker tweeted.
Ticketmaster has also issued a lengthy explanation behind what led to the dumpster fire that erupted over tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest tour, which went on sale on November 15. The company’s website crashed because of the high traffic, while hordes of fans who did manage to squeeze into the queue, had to wait for over two hours for a chance at purchasing tickets.
.@Ticketmaster's excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today's @taylorswift13 tickets, and are a symptom of a larger problem.— Congressman David N. Cicilline (@RepCicilline) November 15, 2022
It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly.
Other fans found themselves blindsided by being escorted to an obscure waitlist. Backlash against Ticketmaster erupted all over social media, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urging fans to demand the Justice Department to break up the Ticketmaster and LiveNation merger after the debacle.
Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2022
Break them up.
“The Eras on sale made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and continues to set records,” Ticketmaster wrote in its explanation. “We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour. We want to share some information to help explain what happened.”
The popular ticketing platform had Taylor Swift fans pre-register as Verified Fans prior to the sale as part of the Verified Fan program “to help manage high demand shows—identifying real humans and weeding out bots. Keeping bots out of queues and avoiding overcrowding helps to make waits shorter and on sales smoother.”
Over 3.5 million fans pre-registered for the program, and made history with the largest number of registrations made and tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day.
According to Ticketmaster, (much like The Hunger Games) two million Verified Fans were diverted to a waiting list and 1.5 million were given the opportunity to buy tickets when the sale started. The logic behind Ticketmaster’s strategy was based on the fact that “historically, 40% of invited fans actually show up and buy tickets, and most purchase an average of 3 tickets.”
“Historically, working with Verified Fan invite codes has worked as we’ve been able to manage the volume coming into the site to shop for tickets,” Ticketmaster said. “However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests—4x our previous peak.”
Ticketmaster added, “It usually takes us about an hour to sell through a stadium show, but we slowed down some sales and pushed back others to stabilise the systems. The trade off was longer wait times in the queue for some fans.”
“Even when a high demand on sale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed,” Ticketmaster said. “For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)… that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.”
“While it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that’s what we’re focused on,” the company concluded.
So, that’s it Swifties—this means we would probably have to wait for not just days, but *years* to get hold of a Taylor Swift concert ticket. Thanks for being the anti-hero, Ticketmaster!