Ticketmaster have shared a statement apologising to Taylor Swift fans for their “terrible experiences” in trying to buy ticket to her 2023 tour.
This week (November 17), the general ticket sale for Swift’s 2023 ‘The Eras Tour’ was cancelled by the ticketing site to due to “extraordinarily high demand” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand”.
After Swift said she was “pissed off” that fans had to go through “several bear attacks” to buy tickets, it was then reported last night (November 18) that the United States Department of Justice was opening an anti-trust investigation into Live Nation, the company which owns Ticketmaster.
In a statement on their website, Ticketmaster apologised to fans affected, writing: “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.
“First, we want to apologise 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.”
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
The statement explained: “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.”
After sharing a series of technical reasons for the struggles for fans to buy tickets, Ticketmaster added: “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.”
The statement concluded: “Even when a high demand onsale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed. For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)…that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years. 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.”
In her statement criticising the ticket sale, Swift wrote: “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. 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 to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”
Swift continued: “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. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could hand 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.
“And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.”
According to The New York Times, the new inquiry against Live Nation predates wide speculation of Ticketmaster’s processes attached to the Swift ticket sale.
The Times reported that “the investigation is focused on whether Live Nation Entertainment abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry”. They also reported that the antitrust division of the Justice Department have been in contact with music venues and ticket sellers in recent months, and the inquiry appears to be a broad look at whether the company has a monopoly over the industry.
In 2010, Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged to form Live Nation Entertainment. At the time the Justice Department accepted the merger, but amended the deal in 2019 due to violations of the original deal (Billboard).
Meanwhile, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has launched an investigation into Ticketmaster following Swift fans reporting issues with buying tickets.