Bad blood

After fans were left devastated trying to obtain Taylor Swift tickets, they took to the internet to express their frustration


Lunney, Brianna

Source: Getty Images

Kaelyn Blizard

Taylor Swift has been a strong force in the music industry for sixteen years, transitioning from country to pop to indie and now back to pop with her tenth studio album, “Midnights”. 

On Nov. 1, Swift announced her ‘Eras Tour’, which would take place from March to August of 2023. Millions of fans were eager to attend and quickly signed up for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan presale, a concept that was meant to keep bots out of the ticket-buying process, as only fans would be given codes to join the queue. 

However, as fans left the presale on Nov. 14, there were mixed feelings. Some fans got the tickets of their dreams, while others were left empty-handed after hours of waiting. 

An immediate outpour of anger quickly followed the apparent let-down. Many had concerns about Ticketmaster in the past due to dynamic pricing and extra fees, but this issue prompted further frustration.

When addressing the subject, Ticketmaster justified this by stating that an astronomical amount of people were in the queue during the Verified presale.

“…this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak,” a representative for Ticketmaster stated in an apology message. 

By the end of the night on Nov. 17, Ticketmaster had announced there were not enough tickets for the general on-sale planned for the following day. This left many fans heartbroken, as some did not get the chance to purchase tickets in the first place.

In a statement to angered fans, Ticketmaster said that the demand was just too high to accommodate all of those who wanted to get tickets. 

“Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing),” Ticketmaster stated. “That’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.”

Another wave of anger and disappointment targeted toward Ticketmaster swept over those who could not get tickets, especially on Twitter. 

“Look out, Swifties gonna storm Ticketmaster like it’s January 6,” Taylor Swift fan Max Burns commented on Twitter.

Another commenter showed their anger by saying that Ticketmaster’s “one job” is to “sell tickets to a lot of people”.

Lauren Smiler, a fan since Swift’s 1989 era, wanted tickets but, unfortunately, was left empty-handed. 

“I tried to get tickets during the capital one presale,” Smiler explained. “I was in the queue for at least three hours.”

Smiler’s resentment is targeted toward the company, and only some towards Swift.

“I am mad at Ticketmaster because they screwed everyone over,” Smiler stated. “The situation could [have] been handled better if she had used a different site and/or allowed certain amounts to be released and required a price minimum or maximum.”

Overall, Smiler feels a mix of different emotions as people celebrate or ‘mourn’ the loss of tickets. 

“I feel dumbfounded, angry, [and] jealous of those who secured tickets,” Smiler explained.

Another fan of Swift since the 1989 era, Sam O’Brien, was able to get tickets for the Eras Tour. Her experience was quite the opposite of Smiler’s. 

O’Brien was able to get a code for the Verified Fan Presale scheduled for Nov. 14 when the rest of her family did not and managed to get tickets.

“My dad, mom, and I all entered for the VIP pre-sale, but I was the only one to get the code,” O’Brien mentioned. “I knew there would be a chance I couldn’t get tickets, but I am very grateful to have gotten them. My dad got tickets within minutes after the pre-sale started.”

However, that does not negate O’Brien’s anger towards Ticketmaster for their other faults. 

“The fees are astronomical,” O’Brien stated. “There definitely could be a better and more efficient way to sell tickets without this crash or something else like this happening.”

O’Brien is also frustrated with the way the situation went down. 

“It could have been handled differently,” O’Brien said. “Ticketmaster is in the wrong, and I’m glad it is now under investigation.”

With her anger, O’Brien also feels empathy for her friends who were not as lucky.

“Several of my friends, unfortunately, didn’t get tickets, some not even codes,” O’Brien said. “Out of those people, only myself and one other friend got tickets. I try not to bring it up because I know some were upset they couldn’t get tickets before they canceled the sale.”

A few days later, on Nov. 18, Swift shared the “swifties” (the name for her fans) frustration in an Instagram story.

“It goes without saying I’m extremely protective of my fans,” Swift emphasized. “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.”

Without mentioning names, Swift let out all of her thoughts. 

“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,” Swift wrote. “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.”

 Swift ended her statement with a shout-out to the fans who could not get tickets. 

“To those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs,” Swift said. 

Currently, swifties have taken legal action against Ticketmaster, suing for violation of California’s antitrust laws and their lack of competition. 

It has been made clear that no matter the outcome, anger and frustration has been at the forefront of the situation with Ticketmaster and Swift facing the blunt force of it all. 

“I swear I don’t love the drama,” Swift sings. “It loves me.”