Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

In the past couple of years, it has become almost impossible to get concert tickets to see popular artists. The experiences I have had trying, and failing, to get tickets will haunt me for the rest of my life. If I had a burn book, ‘Ticketmaster’ would be written on every single page.

Flashback to 2019, when I tried to get tickets to the first leg (of many) of Harry Styles’ Love on Tour. I had my heart set on pit tickets so when I was able to get some into my cart, I was ecstatic. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking as I reached to grab my debit card when suddenly Ticketmaster crashed. The scream I let out was likely heard around the world. Luckily, I was still able to get my hands on some lower-bowl tickets, but I will never forgive Ticketmaster for taking those pit seats away from me.

A more universal ticket-buying experience was what I went through in 2022 trying to get tickets to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. I went into the queue feeling confident that I was going to get tickets because I got “Verified Fan” and boosted. However, after spending six hours in front of my computer staring at a frozen queue, I was left without tickets. The little bit of credit I will give Ticketmaster is that a month after that catastrophe, they emailed me about an opportunity to get tickets. They offered 4 tiers of price ranges and then gave me 2 random tickets in the range that I selected. At first, I was unhappy about this because I wanted to be in control of where I sat, but the tickets they gave me were actually great and I had the most amazing time. So, I reluctantly appreciate that.

Recently, Olivia Rodrigo announced her GUTS world tour. There were two ways to buy tickets: the American Express presale and the artist presale. There was no general sale for this 75-date tour. Therefore, to maximize the possibility of getting tickets, I had three of my friends sign up for the artist presale, and my mom and I signed up for the AMEX presale. However, on September 19th emails went out about the AMEX presale and both my mom and I were waitlisted. Then on September 20th, the artist presale emails went out and all three of my friends got waitlisted. This waitlist is not something people usually get off of. That being said, one of my friends did get off of the waitlist. However, the only tickets that were left were VIP and Platinum which were going for around $400 each, not including fees. As the broke college students that we are, we had to pass on those tickets. Now, my only chance of getting to see this tour is to buy resale tickets, and those prices are currently starting at $216.

As someone who makes liking artists their entire personality, not getting tickets is a huge deal to me. Concerts are my favorite thing in the entire world so it is extremely frustrating that Ticketmaster continues to set fans up for failure. Fred Rosen, a former CEO of Ticketmaster, even said, “It’s called the ticket business, it’s not called the ticket fan club.”

Yet, Ticketmaster markets its “Verified Fan” program as a way to make sure real fans can get tickets. However, all it does is check for any irregular purchase history to make sure that the user signing up is not a bot. Also, the system that decides which users get a presale code is completely randomized and most people get waitlisted due to demand. It should really be called ‘the presale code lottery.’

If Ticketmaster really wants to get tickets into the hands of real fans, they should partner with the artist or a streaming service. Taylor Swift used data from the purchase history on her website to “boost” Verified Fans who had presaved her 10th album Midnights. Spotify and Apple Music have data on every single user saved. If Spotify can tell users at the end of the year that they were in the top percentage of an artist’s listeners, why can’t they give that data to Ticketmaster to verify real fans? I understand this system could be flawed, and scalpers will always find a way to hack the system, but since the current system is clearly a problem, isn’t it time to try anything else?

Lily Morris is a third-year student at the University of Georgia majoring in Communication Studies. She loves all things pop-culture, especially music and movies. She enjoys listening to meticulously crafted Spotify playlists, writing funny reviews on Letterboxd, and talking about Taylor Swift to anyone who will listen.