Taylor Swift spoke out on Friday about the ticket disaster that happened this week, as many fans were unable to purchase tickets for her upcoming tour on Ticketmaster.
“It goes without saying that I am very protective of my fans,” Swift wrote on Instagram on Friday. “It’s really hard for me to trust an external entity with these relationships and allegiances, and it’s painful for me to watch mistakes happen without recourse.”
Swift blamed Ticketmaster for the turmoil, stating that there are “so many reasons why people are having such a difficult time” getting tickets.
“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them many times if they could handle this kind of request and we made sure they could,” the singer wrote. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but what really bothers me is that a lot of them felt like they had multiple bear attacks to get them.”
Swift added that she would try to “figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”
Sales of the singer’s New Era tour kicked off on Tuesday, but huge demand snarled the ticket site, irritating fans who couldn’t get tickets. Customers complained that Ticketmaster would not load, saying that the platform did not allow them to access tickets, even if they had a pre-sale code for verified fans.
On Thursday, Ticketmaster announced that the sale to the public, which was set to begin on Friday, had been canceled due to “unusually high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”
Swift added, “For those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is that there will be more opportunities for us to get together and sing these songs.”
Ticketmaster’s troubles began on Tuesday, when the site began selling to “verified fans” — a mechanism meant to crack down on bots that give out pre-sale codes to individuals.
The “Verified Fans” platform was created in 2017 to help Ticketmaster handle situations with overwhelming demand, but with over 3.5 million people pre-registered to be Swift’s “Verified Fans,” the system has become cumbersome. This is the largest registration in company history, according to Ticketmaster.
“Historically, working with ‘Verified Fan’ invitation codes has been successful as we have been able to manage the volume coming to the site to shop for tickets,” the company wrote Thursday in a since-removed blog post. However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who did not have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic to our site.
Ticketmaster noted that “it usually takes us about an hour to sell with a stadium show”, but the site slowed some sales while delaying others to “install systems”. This brought everything to a halt.
The site appeared to avoid major trouble on Wednesday when advance sales to Capital One credit card holders began. But the company’s inability to handle demand for the Swift tour as well as a shortage of tickets to meet the additional demand essentially led to Friday’s planned sale to the general public.
Fans blamed Ticketmaster while others, including members of Congress, have harshly criticized the company’s control of the live music industry.
“Ticketmaster’s strength in the core ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically drive companies to innovate and improve their services,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote in an open letter to its CEO on Wednesday. “That could lead to the kinds of dramatic failures of service that we’ve seen this week, where it’s the consumers who pay the price.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed Klobuchar’s concerns, tweeting that the tour “is an excellent example of how the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger harms consumers by creating a near-monopoly.”
“I have long urged the Department of Justice to investigate the state of competition in the ticket industry,” he said He said. “Consumers deserve better than this anti-hero behaviour.”
The backlash also highlighted the enormity of Swift’s popularity
The pop star has achieved countless successes during her career, built up a very loyal fan – known as the “Swifties” – and recently became the first female artist ever to simultaneously claim all the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 following the release of her latest album, ‘Midnights’. which was released last month.
The Eras Tour — which kicks off in Glendale, Arizona, on March 17 and ends in Los Angeles on August 9 — will hit 52 stadiums across the United States.
Ticketmaster noted Thursday that more than two million tickets were sold on Tuesday for Swift’s upcoming tour — the most ever for an artist in a single day. The company also said demand for tickets for the 2022 IRAs Tour was twice as high as for the 2022 Best Five Tours and the Super Bowl. sum.
“Based on the amount of traffic to our site, Taylor will need to perform over 900 stadium shows (nearly 20 times the number of shows she performs),” Ticketmaster wrote on Thursday. “This is a stadium show every night for the next 2.5 years.”
Tickets for Swift’s upcoming tour have also generated astronomical prices on ticket resale sites, with some tickets listed for tens of thousands of dollars.
Since her debut album came out in 2006, Swift has also built herself into a cultural icon with tremendous influence for moving the needle around issues in the industry. She has used music streaming services such as Spotify (SPOT) and Apple Music for artist remuneration and is currently re-recording her songs to take back the property of her masters.
In many aspects, as with Swift, the same is true of the music industry.
Serona Elton, professor of music industry at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, explained Swift’s popularity by pointing to her success with both music sales and tours. Most music is now consumed via streaming, she said, and is more popular with the younger generations who skew slightly more female.
She said, “The demographic driving the highest proportion of music consumption sees itself in it, and it is closely related to what they sing about.”
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