Ticketmaster debacle

Erin Patterson, Editor-in-Chief

When Taylor Swift announced her tour, she broke the internet. Literally. 2.4 million people bought tickets but millions of others were left hanging without them. This was partially caused because of the availability of tickets but also due to the problems that occurred within TIcketmaster. Ticketmaster, the site used to sell and buy concert tickets, assured Swift that their platforms would be able to handle the demand for tickets. Unfortunately, their promise did not stand for long. 

At 10 a.m. on November 15, the first Swift presale went live. Not even 45 minutes after the sale began, Ticketmaster was forced to pause the queue of sales due to problems rising in their checkout process. Many fans were unable to log onto the website or pay for the tickets. Error codes appeared frequently and verified presale codes did not function properly. The system was unable to handle the millions fighting for tickets. 

This event was not the first time Ticketmaster has ruined an artist’s concert sale. In May 2022, Harry Styles fans expressed their frustration with Ticketmaster after the company allowed platinum pricing on their site. This meant that many of the tickets that were being sold were at the price level 10 times more than the standard price that had been announced. There were slim to no options available at the standard price, even during the presale. Due to the glitches in the system, fans were able to view identical seats being sold for $509 versus $1,001. There were many options available with platinum pricing but it seemed that Ticketmaster did not place many tickets at the standard price.

Personally, I believe that Ticketmaster handled both of these issues poorly. Instead of finding a solution to Ticketmaster’s claimed historically unprecedented demand for tickets, the company continued to sell tickets while problems arose. Not only did the secured verification codes fail, but the system also allowed robots to buy tickets and resell them which was specifically against what the presale was meant to prevent. I waited five hours in a frozen queue to reach a sold out stadium with no tickets left to purchase. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing to see that the statement Ticketmaster released informed the public that there were no tickets left to purchase even though the general presale had not occurred yet.  this was extremely unfair to fans who did not fit presale qualifications or receive a code. 

To resolve the high demand for tickets, Ticketmaster should either expand their platform or release a better system of distributing tickets instead of misleading their customers to have false trust in their services. People are not going to continue dealing with 2,000+ people ahead of them in a queue for hours. Ticketmaster should be held accountable for the mistakes they have made in the past and need to test their platform before expanding, if they continue to host popular artists similar to Taylor Swift and Harry Styles in the future.