Mallory Nilles — Staff Writer
Swifties have added a new enemy to their already long list (of ex-lovers): Ticketmaster.
On Nov. 1st, Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour on Good Morning America. The announcement followed the release of Swift’s newest album. “Midnights,” which tells the story of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life. “Midnights” was released on midnight of Oct. 21. Seven more tracks were released at three a.m. “Midnights” became the most streamed album ever in 24 hours, and its first-released single, “Anti-Hero,” broke global and U.S. records for most streamed song opening day on Spotify. Within a week, all top ten of the Billboard 100 were filled by Taylor Swift; she is the only artist to ever achieve this.
Swift last toured in 2018 for her “Reputation” Stadium Tour; “Lover” Fest was scheduled but got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2018, Swift has released four brand-new albums: “Lover,” “Folklore,” “Evermore,” and “Midnights,” as well as two re-recordings: “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version).” Swifties were ready to get tickets to this long-awaited tour no matter the cost. The Eras Tour starts March 18, 2023, in Glendale, AZ. Regular tickets range from $49-449, while VIP packages ranged from $199-899, prices much lower than expected due to such a great fan base and following.
Powered by Ticketmaster and Capital One, the Eras Tour has high demand. Swift said in a Nov. 18 Instagram post that she asked Ticketmaster numerous times if they could handle the volume of purchases that would come in; they assured her they could. Fans who had tickets to the cancelled “Lover” Fest in 2020 were given priority to buy tickets to the tour. After that, individuals with Capitol One credit cards were allowed to buy pre-sale tickets.
Then came the rat race for many: the verified fan pre-sale. People flocked to sign up to be a verified fan in Ticketmaster which would allow them to participate in the verified fan pre-sale on Nov. 15. The day came, and fans competed for tickets in a massive queue that lasted for hours on end. Some individuals skipped class or called in sick to work, and others stayed on their computers all day waiting for their turn. When their chance came, seats had been picked over and seats that said they were available at first no longer were.
“Every time [my cousin] had a ticket, it was grabbed before she could pay and then they were sold out,” Isabel Boer, a Dordt student and self-proclaimed Swiftie, said.
On top of this, many verified fan codes didn’t work, and the site crashed. Though Ticketmaster is designed to prevent bots from getting their hands on tickets, that’s not what happened: 1.5 million people registered for the verified fan pre-sale, yet 14 million people (and bots) were trying to buy tickets, Live Nation’s (an associate of Ticketmaster) chairman said. Soon after the pre-sale was finished, tickets were already being scalped. Some tickets sold for $20,000, the highest bid reaching $95,000 for a Vegas show, according to gambling.com.
Swifties scrambled and tear drops fell on more than just guitars. Ticketmaster couldn’t handle the overwhelming demand for Eras Tour tickets. The general sale for Friday, Nov. 18 was canceled. Fans were devastated, as was Swift. Ticketmaster may have sold more tickets than were available.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” Swift said in a statement she released on Instagram after Ticketmaster’s cancellation of the general sale.
This was certainly not “The Great War” fans expected from the song. If there’s one thing Swift has shown throughout the years, it’s that “there is nothing [she does] better than revenge.” Devoted fans have raised more than 24 lawsuits against Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster has been under investigation for years now due to corrupt and dishonest practices. Messing with this fanbase might be the last straw.