Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour v.s Ticketmaster

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour v.s Ticketmaster

Abi Barquist, Forum Writer

Multi-genre music superstar, Taylor Swift, announced The Eras Tour, which is set to take place starting in Spring 2023. The controversy surrounding the world tour and poor handling of the high demand for ticket sales on Ticketmaster that took place nearly two months ago on Nov. 15 is still alive today.

Swift announced the packed tour schedule shortly after releasing her latest album, Midnights, on Oct. 21. The tour is highlighting Swift’s past albums throughout the show, drawing in fans that love her many “Eras”. 

Opportunities for ticket sales included the TaylorSwiftTix Presale powered by Verified Fan on Ticketmaster which reached about 3.5 million people to register free of cost. This new registration record provided 1.5 million random registered fans with presale codes to purchase tickets on Nov.15. The 2 million fans that didn’t receive a code were placed on a waitlist with the slightest chance of getting whatever is left over later.

“…it took me roughly 2 months of fighting with Ticketmaster,” said Cooper Linzbach, a Taylor Swift super-fan, “3 public sales and a Verified Fan requesting process before I was able to secure tickets.”

On the day of the presale, Ticketmaster received 3.5 billion system requests, dominated by fans without codes and online bots. The demand quickly led to website issues and major validation errors when purchasing the tickets. Most fans couldn’t catch a glimpse of the possibility of getting tickets due to the extreme traffic on the website. If a fan was lucky enough to cart tickets for their venue, validation issues in the checkout process likely took them away.

“I have been to a few concerts and every time Ticketmaster has kicked me out, lagged, and not communicated properly,” said Cooper Linzbach. “I’ve also used Verified Fan before, and it works a solid 10% of the time to stop bots from getting tickets.”

Some fans are going as far as filing lawsuits against Ticketmaster for the poor handling of ticket sales. The event sales service has previously received backlash from around the globe due to its processing fees for sports and other events. 

 In 1992, Pearl Jam, a famous grunge band, had similar complications when the ticket sales service charged a $1 service fee for what was supposed to be a free concert for 30,000 fans in Seattle. After years of legal action, the band ultimately lost the war and Ticketmaster continued with its “monopoly” ways.

An example of a real receipt from a fan set to attend The Eras Tour shows the ticket total adding up to $1,590.84 (for a total of six seats) before fees. After Ticketmaster fees, the total came to $2,066.54 which adds up to nearly $500 in fees.

“[There were an] insane amount of hidden fees that were undisclosed and sometimes unexplained,” said Cooper Linzbach.

Swift recently spoke about the Ticketmaster fiasco stating that “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,” (The New York Times). Swift then mentioned that she is “trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” (The New York Times)

Despite the complications and legal action, 2.4 million tickets for the record-breaking tour have been sold. The Eras Tour has grossed A whopping $554 million from the presale in November, becoming the highest-producing female-led tour ever.