Ticketmaster announced plans to give a select group of Taylor Swift fans a second chance to buy tickets to the singer’s “Eras” tour, after thousands were left disappointed last month when the presale was plagued by technical glitches, with the live-events site citing “unprecedented demand.”
Some fans who were eligible for the presale but didn’t manage to secure tickets received an email from Ticketmaster on Monday, notifying them that they would be eligible to buy up to two tickets for Swift’s tour.
“You were identified as a fan who received a boost during the Verified Fan presale but did not purchase tickets,” Ticketmaster said in a statement that echoed the language in its email, which The Washington Post has reviewed. “We apologise for the difficulties you may have experienced, and have been asked by Taylor’s team to create this additional opportunity for you to purchase tickets.”
Ticketmaster’s chaotic rollout of the presale last month attracted heavy criticism from fans, consumer groups and lawmakers — and Swift herself — as well as calls to investigate whether Ticketmaster had abused its dominant market position. Earlier this month, more than two dozen fans sued the company, alleging fraud, misrepresentation and antitrust violations.
Under the conditions of the latest sale, fans who received the email on Monday will receive an invitation some time before December 23 to register their interest for up to two tickets each, within a selected price range. But they are only eligible for tickets to shows on the date they selected when they registered for the verified fan presale last month.
To submit a request, customers will need to give Ticketmaster their credit card details — before knowing whether their request has been accepted. Once a request has been approved, Ticketmaster will automatically charge customer’s cards for the price of their ticket or tickets.
The sale will be operated by Ticketstoday, a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, which was formed following the merger of events company Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010.
On November 15, Ticketmaster opened up its much-anticipated presale of tickets to “Eras,” Swift’s first tour in more than four years, to customers who registered as “Verified Fans.” Those customers were sent presale codes, but ultimately faced hours-long virtual queues and technical glitches. Some secured tickets after an arduous process, but many others didn’t.
Ticketmaster later said that a “staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site,” forcing the company to slow “down some sales” and push “back others to stabilise the systems.” Ticketmaster estimated that 15 per cent “of interactions across the site experienced issues.”
The company said it sold 2 million tickets for Swift’s tour — “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day.”
Ticketmaster then cancelled its general-public sale, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.” Fans who didn’t preregister had to turn to the resale market. On the resale site StubHub on Wednesday, the price of one ticket for Swift’s May 7 show in Nashville ranged from $360 to $4,300.
On Monday, many fans shared screenshots of the email from Ticketmaster on social media and celebrated the possibility that they would be able to see Swift onstage. But some expressed skepticism that they would actually get that chance. “I don’t wanna get my hopes up,” wrote one Twitter user.
Ticketmaster did not respond to a Wednesday morning request from The Post to clarify how it will price its tickets, and whether some fans who are eligible for the additional ticket sale and submitted a request may still not get tickets due to insufficient inventory.
Others who were expecting to but ultimately did not receive the email from Ticketmaster expressed frustration at another missed opportunity. “I’ve been a loyal Ticketmaster client for ages and been to multiple Taylor concerts and have not been selected,” said one Twitter user.
Fans have been at the forefront of the criticism of Ticketmaster in the wake of its glitchy presale, with many alleging that the platform has a track record of poor customer service and a tendency to charge high ticket prices.
The Justice Department was already investigating Ticketmaster before the “Eras” presale fiasco, a person familiar with the matter told The Post last month. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the situation. The Justice Department did not respond to a Wednesday morning request to further comment on the probe and its parameters.
But experts told The Post that Swift may also bear some responsibility for the chaos surrounding her presale, pointing out that she could have ruled out resales that drive up prices and demand by forcing buyers to put their names on their tickets, or by fixing a “fair” price for the tickets to avoid prices skyrocketing.
Representatives for Swift could not be reached for comment early Wednesday.