“You’re On Your Own, Kid”: Taylor Swift Ticketmaster Fiasco


Upon the widespread popularity of her new album, Midnights, Taylor Swift announced she would be touring in early November. This tour is not like any regular concert. In fact, it’s not like any of her previous stadium tours either. Swift is calling this her “Eras Tour,” in which the set list is assumed to consist of a couple of fan favorites from all her previous albums, as well as Midnights. She will be taking fans back in time with songs from her teen years all the way up to present day. On top of that, Swift has booked many popular music artists as openers, such as Paramore and Phoebe Bridgers. While this was monumental news to the public, the fact that fans of every “era” were hoping to get their hands on tickets did not make it any easier to fight The Great War of ticket sales. 

It is safe to say that Taylor Swift was never exactly unpopular (aside from her Reputation era, of course); however, the popularity of Midnights has surely spiked up her status and brought many new fans in. On October 21, 2022, the same day of its release, Midnights broke Spotify’s records for the most-streamed album and the most-streamed artist in a single day. Swift has also consistently had one of her songs, “Anti-Hero,” be #1 spot on the Billboard top-100 chart for four weeks. All of this combined, fans say, makes for a great album and a great tour that, unfortunately, most fans won’t get to go on.

“I unfortunately did not get tickets to the ‘Eras’ tour,” said senior Alyssa Inserra. “Although I am a Taylor Swift fan, Ticketmaster’s organization of this event was inexcusable, regardless of my bias to the concert and the performer. They reassured Taylor that they could handle selling tickets to the right people, and not to purchasers who would take them and sell them again for astronomical prices. Taylor could have decided to use a different platform to sell her tickets, and Ticketmaster should have taken greater responsibility for ensuring tickets got into the right hands.”

Swift released her tickets through Ticketmaster, allowing fans to register to get a presale code. However, the presale code wasn’t guaranteed, and millions of fans waited almost two weeks to see if they got codes only to be waitlisted. All of these disappointed fans aside, even more millions of fans didn’t get a code, which many people consider to be Ticketmaster and Swift’s first mistake. The amount of people who got a code was almost equal to the amount of tickets Ticketmaster had, so it made the process of getting tickets extremely difficult for everyone, presale code holders and wait listers alike. 

“I didn’t have a good experience with Ticketmaster because their whole system was not thought out,” said junior Eliza Fucci. “The site was definitely not prepared for the amount of fans trying to get tickets, and even canceled the general sale, which tons of fans who didn’t get a presale code were relying on.” In comes problem number two: Ticketmaster did not make code holders enter their code before getting into the queue and shopping for tickets. This allowed for fans without a code to enter the queue and try to buy tickets, despite having no way to follow through with them. This, to many fans, was Ticket Master’s main problem, as it sparked many issues within their site. Firstly, the whole website crashed quickly following the initial ticket release, which left fans waiting for hours in a seemingly endless queue of 2,000-plus people, and others getting kicked to the back of the queue after they selected their tickets. On top of this, many bots were able to hack into the system and purchase tickets without a code, since there was no way to prevent them from getting into the queue. Most importantly, many fans’ presale codes didn’t work in checkout due to the amount of people clogging the queue. “Despite registering as a verified fan and having a presale code, I wasn’t able to get tickets,” explained Fucci. Overall, the first day of ticket sales was a major disaster. 

Junior Olivia Lanteri explained, “Ticketmaster was a mess. At first, I didn’t even know how presale worked, and Ticketmaster didn’t do much to clarify. Because of that, I only registered myself for presale and not any of my other family members, which would have given me a greater chance at getting tickets. As of now, I still await the rescheduling of the general ticket sales, so I can hopefully secure two tickets for myself and my mom. Who knows if that’ll happen anytime soon though?”

Problem number three arises when the schedule of ticket sales is taken into consideration. The plan was to have two sales on the November 15: the presale code sale and the Capital One Sale. After the disaster that was the code sale, the Capital One sale had to be moved to the next day. Although fans claimed it was relatively calmer than the first sale, it was still difficult for many to get their hands on tickets. This left many dejected fans with only one hope: the general sale on the 18th. Unfortunately, due to the “unprecedented number of ticket sales,” as Ticketmaster stated, the general sale was canceled, leaving millions of fans without tickets. 

“I think there should have been a presale code required to enter the queue,” said Fucci.  “There were tons of bots in the queue and just random people who didn’t have presale codes, which is why so many people had to spend hours waiting in the queue, or weren’t able to get tickets at all.” There are many instances where Ticketmaster went wrong, and their mistakes led to many Taylor Swift fans feeling disappointed and angry upon not getting tickets. Hopefully, the next ticket sale will go much smoother for everyone, and fans will finally have peace.