Ticketmaster, Taylor Swift fans reflect on ‘Era’s Tour’ presale

By Caroline Sweeney, Staff Writer

Buying concert tickets used to be quite simple. People would wait in long lines outside of a Ticketmaster office, typically located in Sears, for the chance to get some tickets to whatever show that was coming up.

The only issue was even if you waited in line all day, you still weren’t guaranteed a ticket. That’s why people have had so much hope with technology being able to solve problems like that. However, it seems that the internet still isn’t providing an efficient way to get tickets. Fans still have to wait in long queues, they’re just online now.

The most recent fan outburst came with Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour Presale. Fans from all around registered for verified fan status, which included a chance to get a code to access the presale on Nov. 15.

Bekah Douglas, sophomore in Media, was one of the fans who didn’t receive a code. 

“I never got into Taylor until quarantine so I’ve never had the chance to see her live,” Douglas said. “I was elated to hear the news she’d be touring.”

Many fans were in the same boat as Douglas. She had to rely on friends buying her ticket for her, but unfortunately even with a presale code you still weren’t guaranteed a ticket.

“Most of the people I heard from were stuck in lines for hours,” Douglas said, “or kicked out before they could finalize their purchase.”

This was extremely frustrating and upsetting for fans especially after waiting for an extensive period of time.

Elle Filipiak, freshman Gies, was one of the fans who did receive a code and even secured tickets.

“I still had to go through classes while trying to keep track of the queue and whether or not the website was working,” Filipiak said. “I had a hard time logging in and joining the queue from the start.”

Another rising issue is the number of bots that were able to access the presale in order to obtain tickets, then turning around and selling them for more than double the amount of the face value. Some tickets were even listed at as much as $40,000. 

“I understand that tickets are a privilege especially when your performance is long awaited, but what does it say to your fans that price is the real divider,” Douglas said. “It felt like a new low because Taylor has always projected it to be about her fans and not about the money.”

The following day was the Capital One presale. Fans who didn’t luck out the day before got a second chance the next day, if they were Capital One cardholders. Unfortunately, just like the day before, fans weren’t guaranteed tickets either.

Some fans said they were so discouraged from the day before that they didn’t even bother this time around.

“I didn’t think it’d be necessary to register for both before the presale and after,” Douglas said. “I didn’t think there was any reason to.”

After the Capital One presale, there was one more opportunity- the general public sale. Every fan who didn’t receive a presale code had been waiting for this day as well as people who had codes but still didn’t get tickets. 

That is, until Ticketmaster decided to cancel the general public sale entirely. 

Ticketmaster tweeted, “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 Era’s Tour has been cancelled.”

Fans were devastated at the news. Taylor Swift even took to Instagram to address the event. 

“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. “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.”

Though not all fans were satisfied with Swift’s response.

“She’s justifying why she used presale codes so that fans get mad at Ticketmaster and not her team,” Douglas said. “There’s no good response to simple unfairness, but there is room to take ownership of your mistakes. And who’s to say this statement wasn’t ready weeks ago.”

Some fans disagree and believe that Ticketmaster is solely to blame. 

“Taylor and the industry did what they could to try and combat the crazy high demand for tickets,” Filipiak said. “She’s such a large artist and her tour attracts such a large fan base that it makes it hard for a single site to handle.”

Ticketmaster is on the mend right now trying to make it right with fans. A little over a month after the whole debacle people started receiving emails from them offering an opportunity to once again purchase tickets. Though it was done a little differently this time.

Fans who were emailed had to list a range of prices they would be willing to pay for a ticket as well as the amount of tickets they wanted. They then received an email a few days later with their tickets and a seat that was randomly chosen for them based on their budget.

Ticketmaster even released a public statement apologizing for the incident as well as explaining what happened on their end of things. 

“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,” Ticketmaster said.

All that fans can do now is hope that resale prices drop sometime from now until the tour starts. Hopefully, Ticketmaster solves their internal issues and fans of Swift are able to see her in the future.

 

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