There has been a lot of buzz and frustration around the ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour. The presale for tickets started on November 15, 2022 and it did not go smoothly for many fans trying to purchase tickets. There are a few key factors that led to the issues with buying Taylor Swift tickets through Ticketmaster.
High Demand for Taylor Swift Tickets
To start, there is enormous demand among Taylor Swift fans to get tickets to see her live in concert. Taylor Swift has not done a tour since 2018 when she did the Reputation Stadium Tour. So there has been massive anticipation building up over the past four years for Swifties dying to see Taylor perform live again.
Now that the Eras Tour has been announced, fans want to ensure they get tickets. Taylor Swift has amassed a massive fanbase over her career so far. She has won 10 Grammy Awards and has released hit album after hit album. Her most recent album, Midnights, broke the Spotify record for most-streamed album in a single day upon release. All this success and popularity translates to extremely high demand for tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour dates.
Limited Tour Dates
Another factor that led to the intense competition for tickets is that Taylor Swift is doing a relatively limited number of tour dates and shows. The Eras Tour includes only 52 show dates across the United States. While 52 shows is still a significant touring schedule, when considering the size of Swift’s fanbase, it does not provide nearly enough opportunities for everyone to see a show who wants to.
There are over 2 million followers just on Taylor Swift’s Facebook page. And that’s only one slice of her broader follower count across platforms like Instagram and Twitter. So with 52 dates available and millions of fans vying for tickets, it was inevitable that tickets would sell out quickly and many fans would be left empty handed.
High Resale Ticket Prices
After regular tickets sold out, many fans went to the secondary market to try to get tickets. But Ticketmaster’s presale and Verified Fan program allowed resellers to buy large batches of tickets. These resellers could then list the tickets on sites like StubHub for extremely inflated prices.
Some examples of crazy resale prices include:
- $17,000 for 2 floor seats in Glendale, AZ
- $20,000 for 2 floor seats in Tampa, FL
- $50,000 for 2 VIP floor seats in Arlington, TX
These prices are 5-10X the regular prices. This dynamic frustrated fans who could no longer afford to get any tickets at a reasonable price point.
Bots and Scalpers
In addition to resellers buying up tickets, there were also issues with bots and scalpers. A bot is an automated software program that can purchase online tickets quickly. Scalpers are people who buy large batches of tickets solely for the purpose of reselling them at a markup.
Ticketmaster’s system was not able to adequately detect and deter bots and scalpers. This allowed many tickets to end up in the hands of resellers rather than everyday fans.
Ticketmaster System Failures
The final factor that exacerbated the ticket sale struggles was failures in Ticketmaster’s system. On the morning that Verified Fan presale codes were supposed to be emailed out, there were widespread reports of fans not receiving their codes. Without the special code, fans with Verified Fan status were blocked from accessing the presale.
Additionally, Ticketmaster’s website and app crashed or had performance issues frequently throughout the presale under the heavy load. Fans reported constant error messages, glitches, kick outs, and inability to access the queue and checkout.
Ticketmaster essentially acknowledged they did not adequately prepare for the volume of users for Taylor Swift’s onsale. Their system couldn’t handle the demand and it led to a terrible ticket buying experience for fans.
The result of all these factors was that many Taylor Swift fans were left angry, disappointed, and without concert tickets. Some fans spent hours on Ticketmaster trying fruitlessly to get tickets. The presale chaos and tech glitches created PR backlash for Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster issued an explanation and apology. Some speculated whether Ticketmaster will make changes to prevent similar problems for future high-demand artist presales. A handful of state attorney generals announced investigations into Ticketmaster for potential consumer violations.
It also sparked broader debate around Ticketmaster’s dominance in the primary ticket market and its merging with Live Nation. Some argued the Taylor Swift onsale highlighted the need for more competition in the ticket sales industry.
As for Taylor Swift, she expressed empathy for fans who had a hard time getting tickets and said she was just as frustrated with the situation as her fans were.
Moving forward, there will be a couple things for fans to keep an eye on:
- General public onsale – There is still a general sale scheduled for November 18. It remains to be seen if Ticketmaster will impose measures to improve the experience and availability.
- Additional dates – Taylor Swift could potentially add more shows in high-demand markets where tickets sold out quickest.
- Resale market – Prices may start to drop closer to shows as resellers have trouble offloading extra inventory.
While the Ticketmaster presale was a mess, there is still hope for fans who missed out initially. Taylor Swift’s tour will surely be one of the hottest tickets of 2023, so it’s understandable fans badly want to see one of today’s most iconic pop stars live on the Eras Tour.
Summary of Key Events in Ticket Sale Debacle
Here is a timeline summary of key events around the Eras Tour ticket sales:
|October 28, 2022
|Taylor Swift announces the Eras Tour and Ticketmaster presale dates
|November 1, 2022
|Verified Fan presale registration opens
|November 9, 2022
|Swift breaks Ticketmaster single day sales record during Capital One presale
|November 14, 2022
|Tickets sell out fast and site crashes during fan club presales
|November 15, 2022
|Widespread reports of Verified Fan code failures and presale tech issues
|November 15, 2022
|Ticketmaster releases statement blaming “unprecedented demand” and “staggering number of bot attacks”
|November 17, 2022
|Multiple state attorney generals announce investigations into Ticketmaster
|November 18, 2022
|General public onsale date, many shows sell out quickly again
Key Statistics on Taylor Swift Ticket Sales
Here are some key stats that demonstrate the incredible demand for Taylor Swift concert tickets:
- 2+ million – Verified Fans registered for presale code during the first day of registration
- 3.5 million – Total number of Verified Fan registrants overall
- 1.5 million – Verified Fans invited to participate in presales
- 14 million – Requested tickets on the first day of Capital One presale
- 3.5 billion – Total ticket requests for the entire presale period
- 52 – Taylor Swift Eras Tour number of shows
- 15-20% – Estimated number of tickets held back for general public onsale
- $50,000 – Highest resale price for a pair of VIP floor seats
This enormous demand from millions of Taylor’s fans for less than 1 million tickets available explains why the presales were such a scramble.
The Taylor Swift Eras Tour ticket sale was an epic failure by Ticketmaster that left many loyal fans empty-handed and frustrated. Extremely high demand, insufficient tour dates, scalpers/bots, and technical issues crashed the Ticketmaster system.
While Ticketmaster deserved criticism, there is hope for fans who missed out to still get tickets later. Taylor Swift will likely add more shows or tickets may drop in price on resale markets over time.
This saga highlights how passionate Swifties are to see Taylor on tour again. Despite the presale chaos, the Eras Tour will undoubtedly be one of the most unforgettable and spectacular concert events of 2023.