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‘Unprecedented’ demand for Taylor Swift tour crashes Ticketmaster website

Millions of Taylor Swift fans swarmed Live Nation Entertainment Inc’s Ticketmaster website on Tuesday seeking seats for her first tour in five years, causing periodic outages and long online waits that often ended in disappointment.

November 16, 2022
By Lisa Richwine
16 November 2022

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Millions of Taylor Swift
fans swarmed Live Nation Entertainment Inc’s Ticketmaster
website on Tuesday seeking seats for her first tour in
five years, causing periodic outages and long online waits that
often ended in disappointment.

The ticket-selling site told fans on Tuesday morning, via a
statement on Twitter, that it was experiencing “intermittent
issues” that the company was “urgently” working to resolve.

Later, Ticketmaster tweeted that there had been
“historically unprecedented demand” for Swift’s “The Eras Tour,”
her first since 2018, from millions of people. Ticket sales for
West Coast shows were delayed by three hours.

Fans reported waiting in online queues for up to eight
hours, and many finding they were too late to purchase tickets,
which cost between $49 and $449 each.

“I’m a failure as a father,” wrote Dave Pell, author of the
popular NextDraft newsletter.

“The one time my daughter really needed me to come through
for her, I ended up on the outside looking in, banished to the
barren badlands of the Taylor Swift ticket waiting list
wasteland,” he said.

Other Swifties, the nickname for Swift’s fans, said they
were repeatedly dropped from queues and turned their ire toward
Ticketmaster. Some said they took a day off work and felt the
process should have gone more smoothly.

A Ticketmaster spokesperson said the number of people who
registered for the early sale was more than twice the number of
tickets available, and that millions of others also jumped
online to buy.

“This caused some delays for fans which we know is
frustrating and we worked as quickly as possible to adjust some
on sale times to manage the volume, and queues are now flowing,”
the spokesperson said.

A Democratic U.S. lawmaker also criticized the company.

“@Ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees are
completely unacceptable, as seen with today’s @taylorswift13
tickets,” Rep. David Cicilline wrote on Twitter.

He added that the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live
Nation, which had Justice Department approval, should not have
been allowed. “It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is
an unchecked monopoly,” he said.

Cicilline, who chairs the House of Representatives antitrust
panel, called on the Justice Department to investigate. The
agency declined to comment.

The ticketing industry has frustrated Americans for years
with hidden fees, limited ticket availability because of
pre-sales, and other irritations.

Waits of several hours also were reported on ticket seller
SeatGeek, which was selling tickets to Swift shows in Arlington,
Texas, and Glendale, Arizona. SeatGeek said it, too, experienced
high demand and urged fans to “please be patient.”

Hundreds of thousands of people did grab tickets to Swift’s
tour, Ticketmaster said. Another presale, for Capital One credit
card holders, was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Swift released her latest album, the pop record “Midnights,”
in October. She has promised hits from albums spanning her
career on the “Eras” tour. The U.S. tour is scheduled to start
in March and end in August.

Some buyers already were looking to cash in on the fervor.
Resale sites such as Stubhub were offering seats on Tuesday
afternoon for as much as $18,000 each.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Additional reporting by Danielle
Broadway in Los Angeles and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing
by Aurora Ellis)

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