Company says its system was overloaded with requests
Ticketmaster has apologized to Taylor Swift and her fans for botching her The Eras Tour presale and canceling the public on sale. The company has released an updated public statement (after removing an initial statement from the website a day earlier) about what went wrong during Tuesday’s 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.”
The Live Nation-owned company says it was aware a record number of Swifties would be trying for tickets. However, they state there was a massive amount of bot attacks at the same time.
“Historically, we’ve been able to manage huge volume coming into the site to shop for tickets, so those with Verified Fan codes have a smooth shopping process. However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak.
“We handle onsales for countless top tours, some of the biggest sporting events, and more. Never before has a Verified Fan onsale sparked so much attention – or traffic. This disrupted the predictability and reliability that is the hallmark of our Verified Fan platform.”
Ticketmaster says it’s working to improve its system in hopes this doesn’t happen again.
“The biggest venues and artists turn to us because we have the leading ticketing technology in the world – that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and clearly for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour onsale it wasn’t. But we’re always working to improve the ticket buying experience. Especially for high demand onsales, which continue to test new limits.
“We’re working to shore up our tech for the new bar that has been set by demand for the Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour. Once we get through that, if there are any next steps, updates will be shared accordingly.”
They add, “While it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that’s what we’re focused on.”
The ticketing firm, which has recently expanded to Asia, says Swift would need to perform 900 stadium shows to meet demand. That’s one each night for the next two and half years.
Ticketmaster’s latest statement comes a day after Swift blasted the company on Instagram on Friday.
“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.”
Demand for Swift concert tickets was huge before the Verified Fan presale. Swift initially announced 27 dates and then added eight and then 17 new dates within two weeks. Swift will play multiple nights in all cities, tallying to 52 shows in US stadiums in 2023.
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.
The US Justice Department is said have opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation over concerns the company has abused its power. The investigation will focus 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. Neither the Justice Department nor Live Nation would comment on the matter.
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.
We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets. We feel we owe it to everyone to share some information to help explain what happened: https://t.co/1Gn4kRIvq8
— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 19, 2022