Taylor Swift’s much awaited upcoming tour is already facing chaos and controversy thanks to Ticketmaster. Fans are furious over the website facing technical glitches and blocking them from buying tickets through their Verified Fan presale, a lottery system that allows music fans to secure concert tickets before the general on-sale date.
Taylor Swift announced her biggest-ever US tour, ‘The Eras Tour’, not longer after the release of her album Midnights. The tour kicks off in March 2023 in Arizona and will be “a journey through all of the musical eras” of Taylor’s career. On Tuesday, lucky fans of the artists waited in virtual lines for hours with the hope of purchasing a ticket. Several became frustrated after meeting technical difficulties. Many expressed their frustration online, including actor Busy Philipps. Ticketmaster had apparently sent fans invalid codes and kicked them out of the website.
YO! @TMFanSupport my code ISNT working! It says it’s invalid. WTH! I have ONE JOB AS A MOM- to get these tickets- and you have ONE JOB as Ticketmaster! To give people working codes!!!! 😫😫😫
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) November 15, 2022
After the Twitter meltdown, Ticketmaster addressed the controversy. They announced that over three million fans had registered for Verified Fan, the highest number to date.
— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 15, 2022
Later, the company tweeted that they have canceled the general public sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”
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
Ticketmaster has been embroiled in controversies for decades, and most music fans despise the ticketing platform. However, the company has managed to wipe out almost all its major competitors since the 90s and has established itself as a near-monopoly in the ticketing industry.
In May 1994, grunge band Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice. They claimed that Ticketmaster had cut the group out of venue bookings in a dispute over fees. The band boycotted the platform but eventually found it too unwieldy and returned to the service after 14 months.
Live Nation, an event promotion firm merged with Ticketmaster in a 2010 deal, which has also faced criticism from many. Since the merger, U.S. lawmakers, on multiple occasions, have expressed concern over the company’s influence on the live music industry. In 2021, five members of Congress wrote a letter asking the Department of Justice to launch an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster. Around this time, fans of singer Olivia Rodrigo also ended up dissatisfied after Ticketmaster’s technical difficulties kept them from buying tickets when they went on sale.
It seems Ticketmaster has earned quite the Reputation as an Anti-Hero. But Swifties are not so forgiving. The highly anticipated tour is a chance to see Taylor live after five years, and fans are frustrated that technical glitches should get in the way of that.