And now they’re taking the ticketing giant to court.
The presale for Taylor Swift‘s Eras tour was nothing short of a giant clusterfuck from Ticketmaster. After millions of fans registered to purchase tickets through the Verified Fan presale, which required a code to purchase tickets, the website promptly crashed as soon as the tickets went on sale and subsequent presales had to be pushed back. Fans then waited for hours in the queue to buy tickets during the next day’s Capital One presale, only to find no tickets available when it was finally their chance to pick their seats.
The company ultimately canceled the general public onsale, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”
Then of course, those same tickets that were supposed to go to “verified fans” ended up on resale sites for absolutely insane prices…meaning they probably weren’t sold to actual Taylor Swift fans, and there were probably quite a few tickets that ended up going to bots that only added to the frustration for real fans.
The multistep process ended up being confusing and frustrating for those who registered for presale codes, waited in hours long queues, only to have the site crash or find out that there were no tickets left by the time they got in, and then see the tickets being resold for thousands and thousands of dollars.
Taylor herself released a statement blasting Ticketmaster for the debacle, calling it “excruciating” to watch her fans struggle to get tickets due to another company’s failures, especially after receiving assurances from the ticketing giant that they could handle the demand for tickets that a Taylor Swift tour would generate:
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.
There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward. 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.
It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
Taylor Swift releases statement regarding the Ticketmaster sale of her Eras Tour:
“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.” pic.twitter.com/zrDWK8dIHg
And now Ticketmaster is squarely in the Swifties’ crosshairs.
A lawsuit was filed against the company late last week by more than two dozen Taylor Swift fans, accusing Ticketmaster of fraud, misrepresentation and antitrust violations.
The complaint, filed in the Superior Court of California, accuses Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation of a scheme that required fans to exclusively use their site to both buy and resale tickets, which allowed the site to jack up prices far beyond market value as demand shot through the roof.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are asking Ticketmaster to pay $2,500 for every violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, which prohibits “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising.”
And the Swiftie suit isn’t the only legal trouble that Ticketmaster’s facing. Even before the Eras tour debacle, the United States Department of Justice had opened a probe into both Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Several state attorneys general announced they would be opening investigations into the ticketing service, and several lawmakers called for the Justice Department to break up the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation that has essentially granted the company a monopoly over the ticketing industry, with venues owned or operated by Live Nation being required to use Ticketmaster.
I’ve gotta admit, I’ve never considered myself a big Swiftie, but if they manage to bring down the monster that is Ticketmaster, I might even join them in the queue to buy tickets to the next tour…hopefully on a site other than Ticketmaster.
Because as Zach Bryan fans know…ALL THE HOMIES HATE TICKETMASTER.