A Tay-Tastrophy: A Week of Horror For Swifties

Name something more difficult than getting into Harvard. Stumped? Well, an acceptable answer would be getting Taylor Swift tickets.

On November 1’st, musical mastermind Taylor Swift announced her upcoming Era’s Tour, her first tour in over four years, including performances of songs from past albums as well as her new album Midnights recently released on October 21’st (which I am currently listening to as I write this.)

As you may guess, the crowd went wild. Taylor Swift’s fan base, labeled “Swifties” would do everything in their power to score these tickets to see their all-time favorite artist perform. With fifty-two stadium shows in twenty cities all across the United States, the biggest out of all of Swift’s past shows, this shouldn’t be too difficult-right? Wrong. Let’s start from the beginning.

First, a pre-sale was scheduled for Tuesday, November 15’th at 10 am local venue time. The day before, lucky Swifties who registered for the presale would be given a code that would allow them to access the ticket sale previous to the general sale that would be scheduled for Friday November 18th that same week. 3.5 million people registered for the TaylorSwiftTix presale powered by Verified Fan, the largest registration in history. Ticketmaster, the seller of the tickets, gave a presale code to 1.5 million people that were allowed to buy up to six tickets each.

On the day of the presale, the Ticketmaster website was stormed. In addition to the 1.5 million who were given codes, bots, and people who weren’t given codes logged into the website. There were 3.5 billion system requests on Ticketmaster that date, 4x their previous peak, as stated by Ticketmaster. The website crashed.

It is important to note that just because someone got a presale code, does not mean that they got tickets… at all.

“As I opened Ticketmaster to enter the presale it showed a queue of 2,000+ people. After about thirty minutes there was no progress and finally when I got to the end after about four hours there were no tickets available and it didn’t let me even view the tickets. I was very disappointed there were no tickets left to buy. Not only that but I soon found out that the general sale for the tickets was canceled and that tickets wouldn’t be available [at all],” says a CHS student.

Many report their Ticketmaster horror stories all throughout social media. Many stayed in the queue for up to eight hours and came out with nothing. Some would finally get into the last stage of the purchasing process and see tickets available, thinking that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. However, whenever they would select seats the message “sorry, another fan beat you to these tickets” would appear. Every seat they selected, even if they were blue, signaling that they are available, could not be placed into the cart. During this time, more and more of the screen would turn gray, signaling previously sold seats. Others would be kicked to the back of the line and start from the beginning of the process after finally getting into the seat-selection step. Keep in mind, this was only the presale.

The next day, there was a Capital One presale where Capital One cardholders would be allowed to access tickets as well. Customers faced the same issues on Ticketmaster.

Just when you thought this couldn’t get any worse, it did. The general sale, the one and only chance for fans who did not get a presale code, was canceled completely. Twitter erupted and fans were devastated. “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 canceled,” Ticketmaster tweeted on Thursday.

The frenzy surrounding this tour has broken records, according to PopSugar “Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour had TWICE the demand of the entire Top 5 Tours in 2022 and the Super Bowl combined.”

Taylor Swift herself finally responded on Instagram explaining how she is very protective of her fans, and that it is very difficult to trust outside entities with this relationship. It was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse” she stated. “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.”

Ticketmaster is now being investigated by the Justice Department for being a monopoly, a small comfort to fans unable to get tickets.