By Paige Duane
When several thousand Taylor Swift fans entered the presale waiting room on Ticketmaster to purchase tickets for her tour, malfunctions were to be expected. What no one predicted was for the website to shut down before the tickets even went on sale.
Just minutes prior to tickets being released for the west coast leg of the Eras tour at 10:00 am PST, the website shut down entirely. A notification was sent out to fans that due to “historically unprecedented demand”, West Coast sales for Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Santa Clara, and Seattle would be pushed back to 3:00 pm. Fans were outraged.
“Ticketmaster knew how many presale codes they administered. Not everyone has the ability to stay home all day to buy tickets, no matter how badly they want them. It’s not fair,” one swiftie complained on twitter.
For East Coast fans, the process did not go much smoother. Ticket buyers reported waiting up to five hours, as well as experiencing glitches, lags, and repeated pauses in the queue. Those who did manage to snag tickets observed high prices and complications in buying tickets. For many unfortunate fans, the stadiums were entirely sold out before they had a chance to make a purchase.
Ticketmaster CEO, Greg Maffei, blames the fiasco on the extreme traffic the website faced on the day of the presale. According to Maffei, “The site was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots, which are not supposed to be there.” Ticketmaster reportedly sold over 2 million tickets for the tour, which is “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day”.
Those who could not buy tickets, as well as the fans who never received verified presale codes, waited anxiously for the general sale on November 17, when they would try their luck once more. Their hopes of earning tickets were eliminated entirely when Ticketmaster announced that the second sale was canceled due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory”. Presently, the only place to purchase tickets is on resale websites, where prices skyrocketed up to $12,000.
Taylor Swift gave her response to the events in an instagram post. Swift said it was “excruciating for me to watch mistakes happen with no recourse” and that she hopes to “provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing”. As of now, no plan has been announced to remedy the situation.