TicketMaster Faces Controversy After Taylor Swift Ticket Buying Disaster

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Wilson Freer, Editor

On Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, ‘Midnights’. Upon its release, the album immediately jumped to the top of the charts and even broke many records. Swift broke Spotify’s one-day streaming record for an album, racking up 184.6 million streams. The previous record, held by Drake, for his album “Certified Lover Boy” was 153 million in 24 hours. Swift also became the most streamed artist on Spotify in 24 hours with 228 million streams, another record previously held by Drake. Swift was able to break many other records as well.

      Shortly after the release, Swift announced that she will be going on tour for the first time in five years. The announcement immediately sparked excitement from her fans and many people worldwide. Swift has been a partner with the company TicketMaster for years to perform a ‘TaylorSwiftTix Verified Fan Presale’ in attempts to get tickets into the hands of her fans first, instead of bots and scalpers. Fans were able to sign up for essentially a lottery to be selected to be eligible for presale for tickets before sale for the general public. Ticketmaster sent out more codes than the presale was built for, and led to extreme demand for tickets that was originally supposed to be avoided. Ticketmaster reported that on the day of presale, the website received over 3.5 Billion site requests causing the site to crash repeatedly. 

     The presale began on Nov. 15 and made many fans unhappy when they were not able to buy tickets, even if they had a presale code. Many fans reported the site not loading, not letting them purchase tickets even when they were already in the hands of the buyer, and crashing many times repeatedly. Later in the day, Ticketmaster issued a statement saying that the general sale for Swift’s tour that was set to begin on Friday, Nov. 18, was canceled due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”  

    Swift made a statement on her Instagram story on the 18th, explaining how “excruciating” it was to watch these mistakes happen. “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 singer-songwriter said. “And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs.” 

     Following these events, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, to determine if the company holds a monopoly in the concert industry. The investigation was first reported by the New York Times on Friday. Live Nation then responded in a statement on Saturday saying that it “does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.” 

     While action is being taken as a result of this ticket disaster, fans are still displeased and feel like they were part of an unfair event, and those who did get tickets went through very harsh competition to receive them. “It was really stressful and we just got the first tickets we saw which ended up being crazy expensive,” said Lexi Johnson, freshman. “TicketMaster really wasn’t prepared, they sent out way more codes than they had the capacity for on the website.”  

     Some people however, were not as lucky with the ticket buying experience. “After waiting in the queue for over five hours, we got in, selected tickets and went to check out, but it ended up crashing and kicked us back to the start of the queue,” said Audrey Baldwin, junior. “When we got in again, all of the tickets were gone.”

     TicketMaster has since sent out emails to some people who received codes, but were not able to get tickets, allowing them to request the opportunity to receive two tickets within a selected price range. While not everyone who originally wanted tickets is getting them, TicketMaster is working to get tickets into the hands of as many fans as possible.