Taylor Swift Ticketmaster disaster leaves NNHS fans ticketless


On Nov. 18, Ticketmaster, one of the largest ticket sales distributors in the United States, released a statement on Twitter that the general ticket sale for Taylor Swift’s 2023 “The Eras Tour,” initially planned for the following day, would be canceled due to high demand and lack of sufficient ticket inventory to meet it.

Twitter users immediately voiced their frustrations in response to the cancellation. One user with the username “@ccatiecordova,” questioned Ticketmaster’s organizational skills in a tweet that has now amassed over 25,000 likes.

“Would you guys care to comment on how hundreds of fans with presale AND boosts were unable to get tickets, but hundreds of scalpers were able to get multiple tickets through VERIFIED FAN presale and are now reselling them for THOUSANDS of dollars?” @ccatiecordova tweeted.

There appear to be two main problems with Ticketmaster’s handling of the sale, the first being its presale option on Nov. 15. The presale queue opened at 10 a.m., with less than half of tickets planned to be sold prior to the general sale on Friday. Instead, Ticketmaster sold more than two million tickets on Tuesday, the most ever sold for an artist in a single day. The immense traffic on Ticketmaster’s website resulted in a crash, delaying the start of Tuesday’s presale and leaving thousands of fans ticketless. 

The second issue with Ticketmaster’s sale was ticket reselling. Many resellers bought Taylor Swift’s tour tickets for face value (the original price) and proceeded to resell them well over their initial cost. Because no other general sale or presale tickets were available, some fans were stuck choosing between paying over $2,000 for a resold ticket or getting no ticket at all.

Some students at Naperville North High School were among those waiting in Ticketmaster’s presale queue to buy tickets for Swift’s tour. NNHS senior Hayley Swatland kept her phone on the entire school day and handed it to her teacher during a no-phone quiz to ensure it wouldn’t turn off. Swatland says she felt a high level of dedication was necessary to get tickets.

“When [the presale] started at 10 a.m., [the Ticketmaster website] automatically said there were 2,000 people ahead of me. Then, about thirty minutes in, it said the queue paused and not to close or reload the tab or you’ll lose your spot. I was nervous that if I turned off my phone, I would lose my spot in line,” Swatland said.

Not only were students anxiously waiting to get into the presale, but many were expecting to have the opportunity to buy tickets in the general sale that Friday. When the general sale was canceled, many students were unsure whether they would be able to attend Swift’s performances. Naperville North junior Grant Hannemann says they were dismayed at the canceled sale.

“I’m upset that I didn’t get my tickets to see Taylor Swift because I really wanted to see her and now I can’t… Right now [presale] is a yearly salary for one ticket,” Hannemann said.

Following the ticket-buying debacle, Swift posted on her Instagram story on Nov. 18, expressing her own frustration with the situation. Despite recent events, Swift said she looks forward to future opportunities for fans to attend her live performances. 

“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse… All I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs,” Swift wrote.

While some appreciated her address, others questioned the purpose of the statement. NNHS junior Alexsa Stewart says she feels Swift’s statement leaves lingering uncertainties.

“I mean, what is done has been done. But it makes me curious on how much Taylor was involved [with the ticketing process] or is it truly just up to Ticketmaster to control it, because I think that changes the whole situation,” Stewart said.

In the same statement, Swift added that Ticketmaster falsely assured her that they would be able to handle the projected level of high ticket demand. On Nov. 18, Ticketmaster released a statement commenting on this allegation and to provide an explanation of the situation. Shortly after, the United States Justice Department opened an antitrust investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster, Live Nation Entertainment, following the situation. Regardless of who is to blame, the entire U.S. tour is sold out, leaving beloved fans ticketless.