Tickets, Please: Backlash Continues after Swift Concert Sale Overwhelms Ticketmaster

When event sales website Ticketmaster began the presale lottery Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour, fans went wild. Those interested in tickets could sign up for a presale lottery, and if they were selected, the tickets would be available to them sooner than those without presale status. However, demand for the concerts was so extreme that Ticketmaster’s system shut down. All of the available inventory was sold during the highly exclusive presale.

The sale utilized adaptive pricing, meaning that the cost of tickets would change based on demand, with additional fees increasing already sky-high prices. Outrage from Swift’s fans, Ticketmaster customers, and even U.S. congress members ensued, with concerns that Ticketmaster has monopolized online concert ticket sales. In a recent congressional hearing, the president of Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster, defended the program, arguing that automated bots flooded the website. (Bots that purchase tickets can then resell them for a gouged price.) The company official also said that the website did not decide the prices.

The Department of Justice is now investigating Live Nation for violating the Ticketmaster-Live Nation agreement rules, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, angry Taylor Swift fans sued Ticketmaster for the debacle that resulted in astronomical prices and extended waiting times on the website. However, some blame Swift for putting profits first.

To be eligible for the presale, senior Esti Shapiro entered her email into a presale raffle.

“You got a boost in the raffle if you bought $60 worth of Taylor merch from her website,” Shapiro said, “which is stupid.”

After receiving her presale code, Shapiro waited in line for hours, only for the tickets to be sold out before she had the chance to buy any. Being a Capital One cardholder granted Shapiro access to a second presale. However, after more hours of waiting, she again left with nothing.

“I had to buy a ticket from a reseller,” Shapiro said. “It was $500 for what should have been around $220.”

Though Swift does not plan to stop in Sacramento, many Rio students were able to secure tickets to other concerts, while others were left out and will have to wait until the pop singer goes on tour again.