Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour on Nov. 1, and the world started to feel whole again. As announcements about Ticketmaster’s presale were released, everything seemed straightforward and fair. The virtual line to register for presale was random, as were the people who were emailed on Nov. 14 that they’d been chosen to receive a text message containing a special presale code and link to use the following day when the tickets for their preferred show went live.
All seemed to be going well the morning of Nov. 15 as people started logging onto Ticketmaster. It was a pretty normal experience for a while: people stood by in a virtual waiting room until the tickets went live, they waited in a virtual queue that told them how many people were “standing” in front of them and then once those people bought their tickets, they were able to enter their presale code and proceed to a map of the seating chart of the stadium that allowed them to select their seats.
However, the presale code system failed. Anyone could get in the virtual line for tickets, even if they didn’t have a code, thus holding up the line for people who did. This system would have worked great if, upon clicking the link fans were sent, they had to enter their presale code to get into the waiting room. But alas, the website started to crash and people got stuck in queues for hours on end.
It continued to go downhill from there. Ticketmaster began to troubleshoot these issues and posted updates on social media explaining that they were working on fixing everything. However, for an entertainment company that’s existed for 76 years, Ticketmaster should have prepared for this.
There is no reason fans should have heard even a whisper of the excuse that there was a “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets when the company should have known exactly how many people would be trying to get presale tickets. Additionally, Swift always has a historically unprecedented demand for anything she does and Ticketmaster should have expected that ticket sales for this tour would be no different.
As people’s spots in line started to get paused or they were kicked out entirely, Ticketmaster should have given those people the opportunity to return to the website at a later time. They also should have been able to restore their spot in line as long as they kept the page open- patience is too precious to be disregarded. Time is precious and while Swifties (myself included) are very relentlessly dedicated, we have things to do other than wait around for tickets all day.
Once people could finally browse the available tickets, they were frustrated to find they were pricey. Sure, people can guess what the prices would be based on past tours and the venue itself all they want, but it would have been nice to know exactly what to expect. People can then prepare accordingly or even decide they don’t want to buy a ticket at all, reducing online traffic. It also would have allowed people to get in, grab tickets from their preferred list of sections and get out, simplifying the process and reducing stress.
I would also argue that fans should have been able to select the maximum amount they were willing to pay per ticket while waiting in the queue. People waited for many hours only to see that tickets were sold out or way over their budget by the time they made it through the queue. There was no reason people’s time should have been wasted in addition to not being able to get tickets- talk about kicking people while they’re down.
Aside from the Ticketmaster-related issues, let’s talk about reading the room. If thousands of people are tweeting that they can’t get tickets, put yourself in their shoes when you’re given the opportunity. Just because you and your friends have the money to get tickets for five different shows doesn’t mean you should. Yes, there is still an opportunity to grab tickets in the general public sale, but it’s just an inconsiderate thing to do when there are people who would have committed crimes to get their hands on tickets.
The bottom line is that Ticketmaster needs to do better. If you’re going to monopolize ticket purchasing for live events, at least make the process less chaotic and stressful. Money is going to end up in the company’s pockets anyway, the least you could do is make customers trust you as a company to return the favor.
Tate Raub is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.