Taylor Swift fans are not the only ones wildly unhappy about the ticket-selling process for her “Eras” tour. The singer herself has gone public, saying that watching the events over the last few days has been “‘excruciating.”
In a statement on Friday, Swift responded to the ticket fiasco for the first time, expressing her frustration.
“There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets, and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” she said.
“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she said.
The star announced on November 1 she would tour for the first time since 2018 in a tour called “Eras,” (Swift fans frequently refer to her various albums’ aesthetics and music styles as eras) following the release of her album, “Midnights. “
The excitement generated by the tour was overwhelming. Ticketmaster said its site received 3.5 billion “system requests,” quadrupling its previous record, per the Wall Street Journal.
But problems erupted almost immediately after the Era’s tour pre-sale tickets became available.
The sale operated first through a system in Ticketmaster called Verified Fan presale, which allowed fans to sign up ahead of time to be “verified.” The idea was to prevent people from buying large tranches of tickets and reselling them by sending buyers codes to access the presale.
But the system failed spectacularly, with fans reporting enormously long virtual queues, the site crashing, and other technical problems.
Ticketmaster changed the sell dates several times, then announced that sales for tickets would be canceled.
“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,” Swift said.
Social media was ablaze with relevant memes:
me attending taylor swift’s tour in 2050 after fighting against ticketmaster for 30 years pic.twitter.com/1yGjftYnvA
— amira (@amitoowell131) November 17, 2022
Our Taylor Swift Presale War Room Zoom rn pic.twitter.com/m7VoICKXEi
— nicole boyce (@nicolewboyce) November 15, 2022
The high-profile debacle even led to closer scrutiny of the relationship between TicketMaster and LiveNation.
The companies merged in 2011. People have said the two hold outsized power and have said it does not encourage the company to operate effectively, per the Journal.
Multiple politicians, including antitrust hawk Senator Amy Klobuchar, commented on the debacle.
“I write to express serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers,” she wrote in a letter to the company.
Earlier today, the New York Times reported the Justice Department has launched an investigation into Ticketmaster’s parent company, citing two anonymous sources.
Ticketmaster confirmed Thursday that fans could no longer buy tickets to Swift’s tour.
“Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been canceled,” the company wrote.
Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.
— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022