Taylor Swift apologized to her fans for the ‘excruciating’ Ticketmaster fiasco

Last week, Taylor Swift’s fandom was in shambles. Tickets for Taylor’s Eras Tour went on sale, but there were a series of terrible events. People waited hours online to pay thousands of dollars for tickets, but most people were shut out of Ticketmaster entirely. There was also immediately a huge secondary market for tickets with exorbitant resale prices. All of it was a catastrophe for Ticketmaster, less so for Taylor Swift personally. If anything, the debacle has put a huge target on Ticketmaster’s back, as the full, punitive force of the Snake Fam has come barrelling down on the Ticketmaster monopoly. Still, Taylor made a statement about it:

“Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans. We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house,” she began her statement that was posted to social media. “I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. 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.”

Swift said there was “a multitude of reasons” why people had “such a hard time trying to get tickets” and is trying to figure out how to “improve” the disastrous rollout moving forward.

“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this time of demand and we were assured they could,” she continued. “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, 32, said she hopes to provide “more opportunities” to get together with her fans who weren’t able to get tickets.

“Thank you for wanting to be there,” she concluded. “You have no idea how much that means.”

Ticketmaster made the announcement Thursday, devastating legions of Swifties who were unable to secure concert tickets.

[From Page Six]

Y’all know I rarely give Taylor a pass, but this was not her fault. She’s planning an international stadium tour, which means she had little choice but to work with Ticketmaster. For a control freak like Taylor, I’m sure this disaster is weighing on her. She made sure she got all kinds of assurances from Ticketmaster that they could handle the kind of heat her tour would bring. Ticketmaster failed her and her fans. The company knows it too, because they issued a statement after Taylor:

Ticketmaster doesn’t want any “bad blood” with Taylor Swift and her fans. Following the disastrous ticket sale for the “Eras Tour,” the company offered a formal apology to the singer, as well as her legions of fans known as Swifties on Friday.

“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,” the company tweeted, along with a link to a lengthy breakdown of how fans were shut out of purchasing tickets.

On Thursday, Swifties were left furious to discover that they had been locked out of the general sale for the “Anti-Hero” singer’s highly anticipated 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 cancelled,” Ticketmaster tweeted without further explanation.

[From Page Six]

Yeah, Ticketmaster f–ked up and this lukewarm apology is nowhere near enough. Interestingly, the New York Times is reporting that the Department of Justice has opened up an “antitrust investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster,” an investigation which predates the Eras Tour debacle but will likely be expanded to include this fiasco. The Biden administration is particularly anti-monopoly, so this Eras mess happened at an interesting time politically.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Cover Images.

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36 Responses to “Taylor Swift apologized to her fans for the ‘excruciating’ Ticketmaster fiasco”

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  1. North of Boston says:

    The immediate huge secondary market of tickets at exorbitant prices is likely a giant clue about what went wrong. Yes, huge volume of people trying to get tickets likely is part of it, with the associated technical failures on Ticketmasters end.

    But the fact that thousands of individual fans with essentially early admission wristbands couldn’t get anywhere near a ticket … and yet … droves of buyers with the know how and ability to quickly resell tickets did? That does not pass the smell test for me.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      It does seem as if the ticket scalpers were able to hack the Ticketmaster system to get the tickets – the fact the people were waiting hours in a queue and then experienced tech issues with the presale codes does point to security flaws with the system that these online scalpers took advantage of. I was reading that in many venues many of the good seats are being resold for exuberant prices, 10x’s plus the original value.

      • Colleen says:

        Someone shared a (screencapped) Tweet of a man admitting to using bots to cheat the system. Dude was soooooo brazen about it that he even made a snarky, sh!tty reply to the screencap. I hope the Snake Fam took him down, but I’m sure he’ll have zero consequences.

      • North of Boston says:

        I a perfect world I’d love Ticketmaster to just hold all the sales that happened, reversing them and refunding all ticket prices and fees, so that anything on the secondary market would no longer be valid.

        And then redo the sale with better controls. (If they could do that and keep the sales to actual people but not the scam artists, profiteers, that would be even better. )

        All that will be unlikely to happen. In that case. Having this be the thing that busts up Ticketmaster, forces some transparency of ticket sales and the resale industry, gets venues, artists to refuse to do business with them or honor resold tickets, that’d at least be a start.

      • liz says:

        Ticketmaster has been caught selling tickets on the secondary market before putting them up for sale on the original market before (Springsteen’s 2009 tour). That’s almost certainly what happened here – Ticketbastard didn’t put all of the allocated tickets into the pre-sale, they were put straight into the resale market. They are the biggest scalper in the business.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    I’m not really into Swift’s music, but this looks to be shaping up as a class action law suit. Sounds like many of her fans experienced real financial harm trying to score tickets.

    And I don’t understand what is going on in those photos. She looks like she is wearing a black bathing suit with a hurricane fence over it. Never seen her dressed so bizarrely.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Just spoke to my niece who was actually able to get two tickets. But she needs four for her husband and both kids, or at least three for both kids and herself. And kids are too young to just be dropped off (11 and 8 and a half). So she might have to sell the two she got which she says she thinks she got because she has a certain credit card. And my great niece who’s 11 is a verified fan but even she was put on a wait list. This all sounds like a great grift for somebody. The two tickets are over $700.

  3. hangonamin says:

    my only complaint with how this whole thing went down was how long it took for taylor to make a statement. otherwise, this was all out of her hands. i think she did the best she could under the circumstances. she needs stadiums and unfortunately a lot of large venues are owned by LiveNation or partners with Ticketmaster. No way around trying to sell on any other platform. can only hope taylor is the catalyst to bring down this empire.

    • Jez says:

      Ticketmaster/Live Nation owns the bots and the reseller sites. Look it up. It’s not a secret or hidden, and no, the current admin’s has done nothing about any of this. LOL

    • Frippery says:

      I was listening to a segment about this on morning radio and one of the hosts theorized that Taylor hadn’t said anything yet (at that time) because she wanted to have all of the facts and all of her ducks in a row first.

  4. MsIam says:

    I think it was very gracious of Taylor to apologize for something that wasn’t her fault. I tried to go online to buy tickets to a different event during that same time period and kept getting the “Oops, something went wrong!” message so this was definitely all on Ticketmaster.

    • Silver Charm says:

      The insistence on making Taylor the underdog and victim in every situation is truly the best trick any celebrity has ever pulled. It’s astonishing ppl still fall for this.

      • Huma says:

        Idk what she could have done here tho. She’s not the underdog, but the issue here is an imperfect business that I assume has a monopoly. All we can really do is address the monopoly and the scalping or encourage artists to make their own tickets maybe ?

      • Eleonor says:

        It wasn’t her fault, but there’s her name on those tickets, and if she remained silent it would have been a pr disaster.

      • Mrs. Smith says:

        @Silver Charm — exactly. The blame doesn’t fall squarely on Taylor, but the buck stops with her. She and her team are well aware of how TM works, what it charges and, after seeing what happened with other major concert tours, what would likely happen, at least with the pricing. Look up dynamic pricing. T’s team opted IN on the dynamic pricing option to get the most money possible from sales, even offering people the album to buy too when getting tickets (which obv also benefits Taylor). My theory on why it took a week to get a response from her is that she and her team had to get their story straight and airtight in case of backlash. Positioning herself as the victim of TM (just like her fans!) is pure strategy here. Listen, make every penny you can, but let’s not pretend that Taylor didn’t know exactly what she was doing. She could have opted OUT of dynamic pricing and had TM issue tix that require an ID to avoid bot scalpers.

  5. Soni says:

    I tied and tried to get tix for the tour but all tix were gone by the time I was allowed to buy. What I don’t understand is how there were tix on stub hub, etc before the tix even went on sale! I checked out a bunch of secondary websites which were selling tickets for $5k/person before 10am on Tuesday. How did that happen??

    • CheChe says:

      Stubhub does this with Burning Man tickets. If you read the fine print, they are not guaranteeing a ticket, you’re just in line for whatever tickets their bots manage to get.

      • SomeChick says:

        burning man ticketing is a nightmare, and they handle it 100% in house. part of it is supply and demand, in both cases. scalpers gonna scalp. the only thing you can do is encourage a culture of not purchasing over face value (and shaming those who try to scalp). the grateful dead did this very successfully. but ofc it is a different world now.

  6. Colleen says:

    Ticketmaster has sucked for at least 20 years. I remember trying to get DMB and Alanis tickets back in high school in like 2001 and it being a nightmare. We took the kids to see Daniel Tiger Live a few years ago because the base price of tickets were inexpensive…only to have an extra $100+ added at checkout on with fees for all 4 tickets. If I hadn’t already told my older son that we were going, I 100% would have balked. I will celebrate so hard if they are ever taken down.

    Anyways, the tl;dr of that long rant is F*ck Ticketmaster.

    • Zazzoo says:

      Fk them indeed. Post pandemic this was my year of say yes to the concert. I went to 8 shows this year. Mostly using presale. And can confirm the secondary market was scalping tickets almost instantly in every case. Ticketmaster has a monopoly and does nothing to stop the bots. What do they care? They get their exorbitant fees regardless of who’s buying and scalping the tix.

  7. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Aging myself here but…
    Ticket master has been a cluster f*ck since the late 70’s-early 80’s when they first started this. In my case, there was no online sales so you had to go stand in line blah blah blah and plenty of times tickets were either gone OR the price changed as you finally made it to the front. Oh. And cash only please. Preferably exact amount. I usually would just go to the venue where said event was being held and purchase tickets there.
    The most I have ever paid for a show of any sort was $150.00 total (tax, venue fees, etc) those were excellent seats and if it weren’t for this being MerlinsDad ride or die group I wouldn’t have done it. It pained me.

    I’m not a fan of her music, but holy hell she gave ticket master plenty of warnings about how this would go.

  8. Grey says:

    First, Ticketmaster is the worst. The fees and charges are obscene and often there are no other options. They are a horrible monopoly and if Taylor Swift/the Swifties take them down I’ll applaud forever.

    However, her apology doesn’t change (for me) that she could have done a few things to make this a better experience. One, opt out of dynamic pricing. Artists have control over that, especially an artist as huge as Taylor. Two, fans who had tickets to LoverFest were promised first crack at tickets for the Eras tour and didn’t get any sort of special access above and beyond what others got. A lot of fans paid extra for “boosts” above and beyond what a ticket price would be, giving even more of their money to her, and did not get tickets. She has this weird parasocial relationship with her fans where she acts like she cares so much, but in the end she really just cares about making more money off of them. She is so proud of being a shrewd business woman, which she often is, but refuses to acknowledge when she could have done better. She can’t have it both ways.

    • Huma says:

      I don’t disagree but I think the standard for female celebs to be kind in their parasocial relationships with fans is so much higher than for male celebs. Sure she may be slightly phony about it but she has given money to fans for their emergencies. Is there a celeb of any gender that is more genuine and giving than her about fans? (Asking because I honestly have no idea.)

      • Bianca says:

        She could have publicly refused to tour unless all parties agreed to let her announce that all reseller tix above face value would be invalidated. She’s the most powerful artist in the industry. If Ed Sheeran can do it, so can she. She’s not a victim and anyone who has been in the record industry for more than 20 years will tell you she’s as involved in every detail and decision made: compared to Madonna in that sense all of the time. Nobody worth nearly $800 million is powerless to take on Ticketmaster. They need her right now as concerts are still selling poorly, and a lot of smaller acts aren’t even bothering to tour because inflation has made it too expensive transportation and accommodation-wise and it’s also becoming harder to fill road crew positions (lots of people like me retired or switched professions due to the pandemic).

      • Grey says:

        I don’t disagree with you about the female vs male standards. I just find the relationship people think they have with her to be strange. I can’t think of another female celebrity that has encouraged that level of “relationship” with her fans. Maybe I’m missing something though! At the end of the day, no celebrity is our friend, they just make money off of us. Which is fine! I love music, movies, all that stuff, but am not going to believe Taylor Swift or any other artist would care about a fan over their bottom line.

  9. Lady Luna says:

    My friend waited 5 1/2 hours online to get tickets, only to be kicked out when it was her turn. Then she had to wait another couple of hours again to finally get her tickets. What a mess.

  10. aang says:

    When I was buying BTS tickets I watched in real time as tickets would disappear and then go back up immediately for resale at 10x the price. Thank goddess they did 4 nights at the same venues or I’d never have gotten tickets. It was insane. I went to a Kpop concert over the summer for a lesser known band at a small venue and paid 3x face value plus fees because the tickets disappeared in seconds. It’s the bots. Reselling for over face value should be illegal full stop.

    • Natalie_K says:

      I went through this too to get tickets to the BTS LA and Vegas shows. I think the only thing that kept that experience from being the full blown clusterf*ck that the Taylor Swift tickets were is that you had to have an ARMY membership to get a presale code. Also for LA, the Map of the Soul ticket holders did get to try a day earlier but even then it was a bit of a mess and a lot of MOTS ticket holders were really bitter about how it went down.

      I really wish someone would come up with an alternative to Ticketmaster. Maybe Elon Musk could buy it and drive it off a cliff.

      P.S. was the other band TxT?

  11. Lucy says:

    Ticketmaster truly is the worst. It’s been awful since the 80s, but the emergence of resell tickets has made it even worse (IMO). The process of selecting tickets only for them to be unavailable and then available again at a higher price through resell is maddening. This happened to me with both Taylor and Harry Styles. In Brooklyn, Barclays Center is only selling tickets through SeatGeek, and I had a less nightmarish experience buying very in demand Bruce Springsteen tickets through them.

  12. TheBayTea says:

    I wrote a paper on Ticketmaster in a pricing class in business school. I ended up absolutely INCENSED about the monopoly they have and the shit they pull. I had no idea how pernicious it was until I delved deep into it, but I walked away hating Ticketmaster/Live Nation even more than Comcast.

    And I want to burn Comcast down on a good day, so that’s a lot of hatred.

  13. Deering24 says:

    The last time I bought Broadway show tickets, they were the only game in town to get them. Theaters had turned selling in advance over to them, and the fees were numerous and crazy-high. It was a ripoff mess then, and has only gotten worse. Hope Biden and Klobuchar TKOs them good.

  14. Thinking says:

    Would it be possible for artists to sell the tickets on their own sites or is that pipe dream?

    • Bitsycs says:

      They can’t, because Ticketmaster has contracts with the venues. So the artists have to use them if they want to do a big stadium tour (and probably any large venue tbh).

  15. Sparks says:

    I’m a huge fan of Taylor’s, but I’m disappointed in her. Ed Sheeran refuses to allow resale on his tickets. Someone with the industry presence of Taylor Swift couldn’t demand the same? It seems like she could have done more.

  16. Mcali says:

    We had 3 of us trying to get tickets. My niece, who uses a motorized wheelchair, finally got in to buy tickets during the Capitol One sale. No ADA seating was available, but within 20 min, $1300-1600 ADA tickets were available on StubHub. Special place in Hell for able bodied people buying accessible seating for themselves or reselling at crazy prices. I am so furious.