Ticketmaster is the problem, and everyone agrees

The selling and distribution of “Midnights” tickets on the popular site Ticketmaster caused fan distress.


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS: This image was originally posted to Flickr by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer at https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6966830273. It was reviewed on 24 November 2014 by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

Sasha Binder '24, Opinions Editor

If you didn’t already know, Taylor Swift announced her sixth concert tour, The Eras tour, on Nov. 1 closely following the release of her ninth studio album Midnights. The announcement came at the perfect time, almost four years after the conclusion of her last tour, Reputation. 

While Swift has always been an incredibly popular artist, she’s gained even more traction in the last few years due to both her documentary “Miss Americana,” and her public disputes with Scooter Braun, a music executive who purchased the rights to Swift’s early albums. As a result of losing ownership of her music, Taylor re-recorded two albums (so far) and released them along with bonus “vault” tracks. She not only gained more popularity due to her new releases, but also for the release of her Taylor’s Version albums. Due to her spike in popularity, millions of people around the world made an attempt to buy Eras tickets during her Ticketmaster presale.

Because Swift is so famous, the process of buying tickets was made very tedious by Ticketmaster, one of the more popular ticket sellers. The demand for tickets was record-breaking, with 14 million users and “bots” signing onto Ticketmaster on Nov. 15th to buy tickets. 

The system was supposedly straightforward. Fans had a week, starting on Nov. 9th, to sign up for presale meaning they would have a chance to buy tickets before the sale was open to the general public. On the evening of Nov. 14th, a set number of fans (sources say around 1-2 million) were sent a code to use in order to join presale at 10 a.m. the next morning. When the lobby opened at 9 a.m., the site was flooded. After joining the queue, fans had to wait until they were allowed to buy tickets. At around 10:20 a.m. the site crashed, pausing the queue and temporarily removing access to tickets. Due to an overwhelming amount of users, Ticketmaster stayed paused for over an hour, leaving fans perplexed and incredibly frustrated. 

News articles came out around 12 p.m. announcing the crash and then the stream of angry fans followed shortly after. The process was claimed to be stressful, lengthy, overcomplicated, and most importantly, UNFAIR. While the site has had issues in the past, none have caused as big of an issue among buyers. 

Due to the large number of bots that joined the server, some fans who received presale didn’t successfully get tickets. And by some, I mean most. Fans were left disappointed and discouraged. It wasn’t until Swift released a statement addressing the fiasco that fans gained some closure. Even still, fans continue to file complaints against and even sue the site. As a result of not only the chaos of presale, but the selling out of tickets, the general public sale was canceled causing even more heartbreak amongst fans. 

Here at Haven, few students received tickets, and the ones who did didn’t succeed in their endeavors without struggle. Multiple students came in late to school or skipped all together in order to buy tickets, while some had parents do the job for them. Others sat in school on their Chromebooks all day in the queue, finally getting tickets before the sell-out at 3 p.m. 

Junior Paige Trout described the entire ticket buying experience as bittersweet. Similarly to other students, Paige herself didn’t get the tickets, even after waiting forever in the queue, but instead had her parents purchase them from home.

“It was like this wave of relief came over me when my dad texted me and told me he got the tickets,” she said. 

Although there is nothing to be done in order to heal the broken hearts of Swift fans, more updates and announcements about the tour will hopefully be shared by Taylor Nation, Swift’s management team, soon. For all of those who bought tickets, congratulations, but for those who didn’t—don’t give up hope. There is still a chance of tickets returning to sale, more tour dates being announced, and obvious prospect of future tours. 

Hopefully, Swift picks a more reliable company to run ticket sales in the future.