Ticketmaster Catastrophe

Emily Hauenstein, Journalist

Taylor Swift has been a very loved and successful musician since the age of 16. Now she is 33 years old and has been singing for 17 years. Because of the pandemic and other factors, Swift hasn’t been on tour in 5 years since 2018, so when news broke about her upcoming Eras Tour it was a given that ticket demands were going to be high. 

November 15th was the big day and the verified fan presale started, and that’s where the trouble started. The Ticketmaster website was so busy with eager fans that it led to site glitches, extremely long wait times, and many very disappointed fans. Not only was the site crowded with people, but bots trying to buy tickets to sell second hand to make a profit by selling them for more than they were already going for, making tickets even less accessible to people. Due to the insanely high demand and insufficient remaining tickets left to meet the high demand, Ticketmaster canceled the general sale, leaving fans very upset. 

I interviewed Abby Hertz, a member of the senior class at Ipswich High School, and a passionate Swifty. Abby signed up for Ticketmaster verified fan presale on three different accounts, and explained her experience, and a little bit of how presale works, saying “I signed up for presale on my account, my mom’s account, and my friend’s account. The way presale works is that certain people who sign up for it get chosen to get early access to the tickets with a special code, so no one else can use it. None of us got selected, so we were not able to try for the early access tickets, and so when the general sale was canceled, I didn’t even get a chance to buy them.” Abby was among the many who didn’t get the opportunity to get her hands on tickets. I asked Abby if she could see herself getting any in the future, and she responded, “I don’t know if I will be able to. Unfortunately since her shows will be in such high demand, the ticket prices will probably stay insanely expensive. I’m hoping that they will drop when the day of the concert gets closer, because that would probably be my only shot at being able to go.”

I also talked with another senior at Ipswich High School Anna Cotter who is also a Swift fan, and was able to get tickets.  Her mom and she have been to Red, 1989, Reputation, and even had tickets to Lover, but that concert got canceled due to Covid. I asked Anna how it felt that she was able to get access to tickets, and she responded, “I felt very grateful and shocked when I found out I got Taylor Swift tickets because I know how hard it was to get them and I know many of my friends who love Taylor Swift didn’t get them so I am very thankful.” However, even those who did get tickets, didn’t get them easily. I went on to ask Anna a little bit about the strenuous process and she told me, “My mom had to wait for a few hours on the que for the presale while I was at school, and she said she was really nervous because she knew she only had only a small amount of time to secure the tickets.” Luckily for Anna and her Mom, they got tickets and will be attending one of her shows in May!

Taylor Swift made a statement on her instagram, stating how she was not happy with how ticket sales were being handled.  She went on to say, she wasn’t going to make excuses for anyone and she had asked multiple times if “they” (not specifying who but we can imply Ticketmaster) could handle that kind of demand and they assured they could. Even with that, the situation has not yet been fixed, and there are currently no tickets available through Ticketmaster.