Millions of Taylor Swift fans crowded Live Nation’s Ticketmaster on Tuesday to try to score seats on her first tour in five years, causing periodic outages and long waits online as some tickets quickly populated for thousands of dollars’ worth of resale.
The ticketing website said in a statement that “historically unprecedented demand” for Swift’s 52-date US tour saw millions of people attempt to purchase pre-sale tickets, causing “intermittent issues” that the company was working “urgently” to resolve.
Fans elsewhere have reported waiting in lines online for up to eight hours, and many have found they’re too late to buy tickets, which cost between $49 and $449 each.
While pre-sale tickets were only open to Swift fans who were selected as “verified fans” – a system set up to deter bots and scalpers – some tickets are already listed on resale sites such as StubHub for US$22,700 (£19,100, A). ) $33,500) each.
Ticket sales for West Coast shows have been delayed by three hours to help relieve pressure on Ticketmaster. Another pre-sale, for Capital One credit card holders, has been postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.
The Eras Tour will be Swift’s first since 2018.
“I’m a failure as a father,” writes Dave Bell, author of the popular NextDraft newsletter.
“The only time my daughter really needed me to come back for her, I ended up looking inward, banished to the barren badlands of a Taylor Swift ticket queue,” he said.
Other Swifties, a nickname for Swift fans, said they were repeatedly dropped from queues and turned their anger toward Ticketmaster. Some said they took the day off work and felt the process should have run more smoothly.
A Democratic US lawmaker also criticized the company. “@ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees are totally unacceptable, as we saw with @taylorswift13 tickets today,” David Cicilline wrote on Twitter.
He added that the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which received approval from the Department of Justice, should not be allowed. “It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly,” he said.
Cicilline, who chairs the House Antitrust Committee, called on the Justice Department to investigate. The agency declined to comment.
The ticket industry has frustrated Americans for years with hidden fees, limited ticket availability due to pre-sales, and other annoyances.
Ticketmaster said hundreds of thousands of people have been able to purchase tickets.
Swift released her latest album, Midnights, in October. She’s promised songs from albums covering her career on the Eras Tour, which is scheduled to start in March and end in August.
Reuters contributed to this report
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