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“The Story Of Us Looks A Lot Like A Tragedy Now”: Taylor Swift Ticket Chaos

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

My story with Taylor Swift is a long one. I grew up seeing “Love Story” all over the Country Music Countdown and sitting in my friend’s room listening to her Red CD. Then, somewhere around middle school, I kind of lost touch with Taylor. I stopped really listening to her music, except for a brief period where “Shake It Off” became my dad’s favorite song. Then in 2020, Taylor unexpectedly dropped Folklore, and once again I was hooked. All the extra time I had on my hands allowed me to not only fall in love with Taylor’s new music, but also to go back and listen to the things I had missed (Lover being chief among the things I re-discovered and fell in love with). So, from then on, I once again became fully and completely a Swiftie. And let me tell you, these were good times to be a Swiftie–- with the release of Evermore, Fearless (TV) and Red (TV). But then, tour struck. 

On November 1, 2022, Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour, which featured shows in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and my hometown of Cincinnati (making me believe that I was a shoo-in to get tickets). Taylor then added even more shows due to the insane demand for tickets, which allowed many to further believe that they were likely to be successful. So fans, such as I, began to hope and pray that they would be able to secure tickets. Personally, before the presale occurred, I spent multiple hours watching videos and TikToks with tips on how to get tickets. Then, on the night of November 14, Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan Codes were sent out. I was one of the few people who received a code, so I was super excited, and I foolishly thought that my code would basically guarantee tickets–- this proved to be far from true. 

On November 15, Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan Presale began, and it was nothing short of a disaster. The number of fans trying to buy tickets caused Ticketmaster to crash. People were stuck waiting in endless lines, repeatedly kicked out of the queue, and given errors that caused their codes to be seen as used even when they had not purchased any tickets. This last issue is what I encountered. After waiting in line for an hour and half I was finally able to select my tickets, only to then be kicked out and forced to the back of the line. Then, after more waiting I was again able to select seats, but was then told that my code had already been used. By this point, the seats were beginning to sell out, and my day ended with hours lost and no tickets in hand. My situation wasn’t even the worst of what happened– some people were charged multiple times for tickets they never received, and others were forced to wait for multiple hours only to be told that the seats were sold out. Additionally, many re-sale places purchased tickets only to re-list at prices sometimes more than five times what the original cost was. 

Later that night, Ticketmaster would tweet that there was “…historically unprecedented demand…” for the Eras Tour. However, while it is true that the demand was incredibly high, Ticketmaster was in charge of the amount of presale codes that were sent out, meaning that they should have known exactly how many people would be on their site and how to better prepare for this mass demand. 

The Verified Fan Presale wasn’t the end of the line, though. The Capital One Presale–- which was originally scheduled for the same day as the Verified Fan sale–- was pushed to November 15, giving fans who were Capital One cardholders another chance at tickets. This change in the ticket schedule was meant to ease the traffic on the site, but it seemed to do little to help. I have a Capital One card and was once again on the Ticketmaster site trying to get tickets to no avail. The same problems continued to occur. I was again kicked out of the queue and sent to the back. At the end of the Capital One sale, I, along with many others, was still left ticketless. But, there still seemed to be hope -– there was still the General Public On-Sale! 

But then the General Public On-Sale was canceled with very little notice, meaning that fans who had not already secured tickets (which was the majority of fans) were left with little hope. Fans, given almost no previous warning by Ticketmaster, were left to search for tickets among resellers who are charging insane prices. I was able to secure two tickets to the Cincinnati show through a family friend (which I am so incredibly thankful for and excited about!), but the same cannot be said for many others. So many fans were left ticketless, and not due to any lack of effort, but rather due to Ticketmaster’s failures. Taylor Swift herself later issued a statement, apologizing to her fans, and saying that Ticketmaster had let her down as well. 

This ticket-buying dumpster fire has sparked the conversation about Ticketmaster’s monopoly on the concert industry. AOC summed up the call to action with this tweet, saying, “…Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.” Ticketmaster has been the target of multiple lawsuits in the past and is now facing intense scrutiny and public outcry due to this latest ticket debacle.

Overall, the Eras Tour ticket sales were pure chaos, and left many fans feeling dejected, disappointed and left out. Since this is still an ongoing issue, there’s little to be said in terms of resolution or happy endings, but hopefully in the coming weeks some goodness will spring out of this disaster.

Lauren is an English literature & communications major at the University of Pittsburgh. She loves all things coming of age, reading, and iced coffee related.