Ticketmaster disaster: Students attempt to obtain Taylor Swift tickets


Credit: Alyssa Ao

On Nov. 1, 2022, Taylor Swift announced her “Eras” tour which left many fans eager to purchase concert tickets. However, most did not foresee all problems that would later unfold with the ticket purchasing process. Many waited hours in a queue of over two thousand people on the Ticketmaster site, which ultimately crashed due to the high ticket demand. “I was in the queue for four and a half hours,” junior Lavery Greenfield said.

Jenny Shine

On Nov. 15, 2022, “The Great War” unfolded for Taylor Swift fans while trying to get presale tickets for the “Eras Tour.” Ticketmaster was the only site where fans could obtain tickets for face-value price, so when the site crashed due to extremely high ticket demand, it left fans with slim chances of getting tickets.

Due to the unprecedented number of users that flooded Ticketmaster.com at 10 a.m. that November morning, most fans got put into a queue with millions of others and were left waiting for many hours. Since the presale took place during school hours, some students walked through the halls with their computers opened to the site to make sure they wouldn’t miss their opportunity to get tickets.

“I was in the queue for four and a half hours,” junior Lavery Greenfield said. “When I got to the front of the queue, it crashed. I took it off my phone and put it on my computer, and it worked.”

To be included in the presale, fans were required to pre-register for tickets through Ticketmaster weeks in advance, but this did not ensure their ability to get tickets. Ticketmaster only sent a small number of people who pre-registered for tickets a code to access the site the night before. The presale code was necessary to checkout with the tickets you wanted to purchase, so without a presale code, there was no way to get tickets in the first sale.

“It was frustrating knowing that I had a very slim chance of being selected,” junior Dana Efrat said. “I was not offered a code, but I was waitlisted. Unfortunately, I did not get off the waitlist.”

Even for those who Ticketmaster offered a code, the process of getting tickets took a lot of commitment. Some students had to get tickets for their friends as well as themselves since they were the only ones to receive a code out of their friend group.

“I was trying to get four tickets in a row for my mom, my best friend, her mom and me” Greenfield said. “I was the only one who got a code, so I held the responsibility. I was the chosen one.”

After the events of the presale unfolded, those who had not been able to get tickets in presale were looking at general sale as their way of getting tickets. However, on Nov. 17, the day before the scheduled general sale, Ticketmaster announced through a Twitter statement that it was canceling the general admission ticket sale.

“Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand,” Ticketmaster said. “Tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour has been cancelled.”

Before Swift made her official statement about the ticket sales, fans wondered how the Ticketmaster issue could have happened, especially without Swift speaking up to support her fans, who were no longer able to get reasonably priced tickets.

As some students open Ticketmaster to purchase tickets, a screen shows more than two thousand people ahead of them in line. This number was actually millions of people. The long line in the queue led to hours of waiting to buy tickets for Swift’s upcoming tour.
(Credit: Jenny Shine)

“I think that Taylor not saying something is an issue,” Greenfield said. “It became more of a problem than it should have been, and Ticketmaster really messed up.”

On Nov. 15, 2022, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a U.S. representative of New York, made a statement on her Twitter saying how she feels about the issues regarding Ticketmaster.

“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly,” AOC said. “It’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.”

Swift made her official statement on Friday, Nov. 18, the day that the general sale was supposed to take place. Swift apologized to all her fans for all the issues that arose during the past week. She also shared her frustration with Ticketmaster for all the problems they caused her fans.

“There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets,” Swift said. “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 handle this kind of demand, and we were assured they could.”

With Swift’s official statement, angry fans who couldn’t get tickets are starting to settle and look for other opportunities to get tickets through resale sites. However, some fans have decided to give up on trying to get tickets for this tour and hope for more luck next time around, as resale tickets are extremely costly.

“I think I’m going to give up on getting tickets,” Efrat said. “Resale is going to be expensive, and I’m not willing to pay a crazy amount for tickets. Hopefully I can see her perform another time, but for now I’m going to sit this tour aside.”