Taylor Swift Ticket Controversy


Official poster art from Taylor Swift’s Era Tour from Taylor Nation and Taylor Swift social media

Lauren Weber, Contributing Writer

On November 1st, Taylor Swift announced she will tour for the first time since her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. Since then, the artist has released a total of four albums, one of which had a tour canceled due to Covid-19, and two additional re-recordings of her previous albums. The Eras Tour is set to begin in March of 2023 in Glendale, Arizona, and then throughout cities in the US and international venues. 

To help ticket traffic, Taylor Swift joined with Ticketmaster to sell seats through presale (Verified Fan) on the November 15th, followed by a Capital One card holder sale the following day, and a general sale on the 18th. To sign up to get a presale code, fans started to register themselves with Ticketmaster weeks before the first sale until November 9th. 1.5 million fans were sent presale codes and a total of 2 million were put on a waiting list. During presale and the Capital One sale, a total of 3.5 billion system requests took place due to a record breaking turnout of people using their presale codes and Ticketmaster’s failure to block bots from buying tickets. The site repeatedly crashed, kicking fans out of the server and stripping them of their tickets. Ticketmaster ended up over-selling during presale and Capital One card holder sales, canceling their general sale that was set for later in the week. 

Fans became outraged over the fact that only 2% of people attempting to buy seats were able to complete their transactions. As a response, Ticketmaster came out with an explanation of their website informing the public of the high amounts of traffic they had to deal with during the sale, which they claimed was unexpected. However, Taylor Swift released an apology to her fans and expressed her disappointment to Ticketmaster, claiming they promised they would be able to handle large amounts of people on the server. 

Attempting to buy tickets for The Eras Tour on Ticketmaster was a process that took the whole day. Fans spent hours in the waiting room just to try and get their hands on seats that were most likely to be stripped out of their shopping cart. Since ticket sales started at 10:00 AM, most people had to get off work or put off buying tickets until a later time, though that seemed impossible because of the high demand. Junior Valerie Longo said, “I tried to buy tickets at home and in school, but I was too busy. So my mom had to take off a whole day just to try and get us tickets.”

Now people who were unsuccessful during presale and Capital One sale have to scavenge for tickets on resale websites, who drastically markup prices, because general sale was canceled. Junior Denley Bellows shared, “we couldn’t get anything through ticketmaster, so now I have to look at buying really expensive nose bleed tickets through Stub Hub.” 

The Taylor Swift Eras Tour ticket controversy on Ticketmaster has put all eyes on the company and their future reliability with big name artists.