Ticketmaster Fiasco

Alanis Martinez, Copy Editor

A recent turn of events regarding the infamous distribution company for ticket sales of various vendors, Ticketmaster, caused a stir of emotions within the public. Affiliations concerning sales have caused chaos in recent upbringings through multiple artists and venues. Difficulties of overselling, unnecessary additional costs, poor customer service, prolonged wait times, scalpers and resellers, and mentions of fraud, have all been discussed as probable causes surrounding the Ticketmaster fiasco. The blame for these unfortunate circumstances falls on the company, branded as unreliable for a widely exploited organization.

The public controversy rose through the highly anticipated Taylor Swift: Eras Tour public sale in November of 2022. Ticketmaster and Swift partnered to satisfy the high demand for tickets, creating a presale and general public sale launching on November 15 and 18. Presale was given to Verified Fans through registration, receiving a whopping over 3.5 million pre-applications, making it the largest in history powered by Verified Fan, says theverge.com

The Taylor Swift: Eras Tour was the main course leading to the downfall of Ticketmaster, withholding a high demand to see the singer perform live. As it happens, fans who were able to purchase tickets have been left incredibly upset over the chaos behind the scenes. Fans like Allison Lopez, 10, were upset over the organization’s inability to withstand a highly publicized tour with a widely spaced venue. Lopez gives her insight into the mishap of the ticketing industry. 

“My experience using Ticketmaster was very stressful, every time I would go to buy tickets someone else would have purchased them, the queue was ridiculously long and overall not organized. The systems are 100% at fault, artists trust these corporations to distribute tickets fairly and at a reasonable price. They should be able to exceed those expectations,” Lopez says. “This is the first I hear about any ticket-selling site receiving such a massive amount of backlash. I will be using a different site to purchase tickets, at least for big artists such as Taylor Swift.”

On November 15, 2022, the distrustful process of ticketing sales exhausted the system, causing crashes as the website shut down during the first appointed sale that morning. The cancellation was issued on the first scheduled presale due to website crashes, delaying the release to later that day, elaborated by variety.com. Fans who received presale codes sprung to Ticketmaster on the delayed sale to acquire the affordable tickets they presumed. Descendingly, the distribution went downhill from there. As consumers across the United States entered the queue, they were met with exceeding numbers of people in front of them, waiting several hours to enter the sale. Simultaneously, fans faced the same issues as they reached the forefront of the line. As fans entered the selection stage of the bargain, a short supply of tickets was left behind. Those that were left behind were highly unreasonable prices, contradicting the initial costs of the sale. Crowds were left profoundly unsatisfied and upset at the chaos they experienced, only to remain without tickets. The public took their unfortunate experiences to social media, marketing their difficulties and blaming Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift. Nevertheless, the mayhem did not end there. 

As an applicant to the ticketing sale, Brissa Alvarez, 10, delivers her input on the disappointing ticketing sale of 2022.

“People resell tickets and make them cost one hundred times more than what they were originally sold for, so I think Ticketmaster should either get rid of resale tickets or somehow make a way to limit the price of them,” Alvarez states. “Also the fees for concert tickets are insane. It can add up to $20 of fees on one ticket. The system is definitely to be blamed because the price of face value tickets aren’t chosen by artists, I think it’s based on their popularity so it’s kind of out of their hands. It’s really hard to find reasonably priced resale tickets and you’re lucky if you do.”

According to a CBS News article on Ticketmaster canceling the general public sales

Ticketmaster put out an announcement on Twitter, leaving fans upset. “Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.” The debacle accelerated as fans were left deserted. The public sale was canceled, indicating unmanageable overselling within the system. A tremendous amount of tickets were sold just in the presale, meaning Ticketmaster had not prepared for the high demand regarding this sale. Complaints grew online along with criticism towards Ticketmaster. Customers who received tickets spoke out against their costly admissions, claiming they were misled about the payment, calculating an even higher amount after additional fees set by Ticketmaster. The inflation of prices was not the only topic discussed, but the conversation of resellers acquiring tickets and sky-rocketing prices played a role in the debacle. Scalpers and resellers relocated to various sites, raising the prices far beyond the original cost and taking advantage of the vulnerability of the situation. Countless accounts fall into a liability, ultimately placing the blame on the company itself. 

The rise of media attention on this fiasco has questioned customers’ loyalty to the ticketing site. Customers like Ariel Free, 10, recall times when Ticketmaster stood unreliable and criticizes the chaotic process behind requiring tickets for concerts. 

“My experience with Ticketmaster most of the time isn’t the best as there are always certain glitches going on, which just make the experience of getting tickets, especially those in high demand, more stressful. I find the system to be difficult as there are many glitches that make me lose my spot or just lose my ticket in general. I also find the system to be difficult because prior to the event, I also have a hard time getting access to my ticket,” Free states. “I have heard about the situation on different platforms and it has honestly been brought to my attention a lot more lately. I have been seeing lots of other people have horrible experiences and still have nothing done to be fixed.”

The aftermath of this fiasco has yet to be resolved. Questions surround the media, inquiring whether Ticketmaster’s credibility should be trusted as a principal ticket vendor used across the world. Worldwide agencies like these need to be held accountable for their mistakes to prevent further errors.