Fans are asking for “ill-gotten gains”
Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster over botching the Eras Tour presale last month. TMZ reports that two dozen fans from all over the US are seeking restitution for Ticketmaster “allowing bots and scalpers to royally screw up the November 15 presale event.”
As previously reported, millions of fans were unable to purchase concert tickets to Taylor Swift’s The Ears Tour during the Ticketmaster Verified Fan presale. Millions waited in a digital line for hours hoping to score at least one seat to her 52 date tour next year. However, due to technical issues, many were left without a single ticket, and the company canceled the public on sale due to system issues and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”
TMZ has obtained the documents filed in LA County which state thousands of fans either didn’t receive a Verified Fan code or were sent “malfunctioning codes” and weren’t able to participate in the presale. In the suit, fans accuse Ticketmaster of fraud, pricing fixing and antitrust violations, something the federal government has confirmed it’s investigating against its parent company, Live Nation.
The suit also accuses Ticketmaster of “intentional deception” and alleges the company was “eager to allow” scalpers access to the presale where it would collect additional fees for every ticket resold. Fans claim Ticketmaster dominates the primary and secondary ticketing market and accuse the company of double-dipping on ticketing fees sold by scalpers.
Fans are suing for “ill-gotten gains” Ticketmaster amassed during the presale. They’re also asking the court to fine the company $2500 per violation.
Last month, it was reported that the US Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation over concerns the company has abused its power. The investigation focuses on whether Live Nation Entertainment maintains a monopoly over the multi-billion dollar industry, and was already in progress before the Taylor Swift ticket debacle.
The White House also recently announced it’s moving closer to federally mandating the end of “junk fees” or “convenience fees” not being disclosed before the start of purchase. They’re pursuing an all-inclusive ticketing model across the board.
Following the presale disaster, Swift blasted the company on Instagram. Demand for Swift concert tickets was huge before the Verified Fan presale. Swift initially announced 27 dates and then added eight and another 17 dates within two weeks and before any tickets were ever sold. Swift will play multiple nights in all cities, tallying to 52 shows in US stadiums in 2023.
“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,” her statement reads in part. “I’m not going 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. 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.”
Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans for botching the presale and canceling the public on sale. The company also released an updated public statement (after removing an initial statement from the website a day earlier) about what went wrong during the Verified Fan presale that left millions of fans without tickets.
“We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour,” they write. “First, we want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets. Next, we feel we owe it to everyone to share some information to help explain what happened.”
Ticketmaster has been under fire since Live Nation purchased the company in 2010. Many of their practices have resulted in class action suits over scalping and refunds of postponed shows, among others. In November 2021, Harry Styles fans lashed out at Ticketmaster over high ticket prices, long queue times, and constant system errors for his 2022 tour. Bruce Springsteen tickets recently sold as much as $5,000 each, sparking the rocker to admit to using the trendy “dynamic pricing” to curve supply and demand.