Ticketmaster mayhem infuriates fans

March 6, 2023

Angry and disappointed, millions of people slammed the world’s largest ticket marketplace, Ticketmaster, for their near impossible accessibility and high prices.


The first major Ticketmaster scandal occurred back in November 2022, global popstar Taylor Swift announced her “Eras” tour, her first one since 2018. Ticketmaster began the process of selling tickets by providing their Verified Fan Program which is designed to weed out bots to give fairer chances for real fans to buy tickets.


Out of the 3.5 million people to sign up for presale, only about 1.5 million were given a code that invited them to to get the tickets for Swift’s 52 concert locations. The other 2 million were put on a waiting list to get the remaining tickets.


Senior Bella Antonelli used her own desperate tactics to get tickets through the process.


“For me and my family, I literally used every single email we had, which I think was like six of them and we only got three selected for verified fan,” Antonelli said. 


After a week of presale tickets being sold,Ticketmaster canceled their planned public sale of tickets quickly after they realized the demand for tickets was far too extreme to handle. Fans across the world outraged as their chance to see their favorite artist was taken away from them. 


Sophomore Talluluh Person was one of the fans wronged by Ticketmaster. 


“I just think it’s pretty annoying because some people are actually really big fans and trying to get tickets and experienced this,” Person said.


Person’s mom was on the website for hours trying to get tickets but was faced with many obstacles.


“We were in the queue for a while and then she eventually did get through to choose your seats to buy the tickets. Each time she tried to pay for the tickets, someone bought them out before her,” Person said.


Unfortunately, this is not the only problem Person experienced while trying to get the concert tickets. They were reported multiple times on the website and were eventually removed.


“It happened so many times that they flagged her as a bot and then kicked her out. Then she tried to get back in but they were all sold out,” Person said. 


As for Antonelli, she was fortunate to get tickets after a short amount of time waiting.


“I got my tickets that I ended up using within the first 10 minutes. I was so lucky …my mom had the other three going for I think she said five or six hours though and then we ended up getting two more sets of tickets,” Antonelli said. 


Antonelli missed some of her morning classes in order to assure quick Internet access and focus in order to achieve tickets. 


“I skipped my first two classes for it and my mom and I were set up with all of our computers and phones, ready to go and we were actually really lucky,” Antonelli said. 


Junior Kennedy Fullen experienced an emotional roller coaster as she went through the process of getting tickets, to being denied, and finally being surprised with them for Christmas.Before she knew she would be seeing Taylor Swift live, Fullen spent hours upon hours on the Ticketmaster website repeatedly getting denied her tickets for unknown reasons. 


“I waited for three hours in the queue. Whenever I would select tickets It wouldn’t let me buy them and so they were locked,” Fullen said.


Fullen was successful in the ability to be in the process of checking out her purchase but was ultimately unfortunate as she was denied each time. 


“Another buyer had already got them and then one time I clicked it all the way through and it started taking my stuff and kicked me out,” Fullen said. 


On top of the waitlist, cancellation of general sale, and random removals, the prices for tickets were a huge problem for many fans who wanted to see Taylor Swift in concert. 


“I feel like our total for six tickets was [$2,000]… that was with everything, all the extra fees tickets get master puts individually,” Antonelli said.


It is an issue for both the fans and the artists who allow Ticketmaster, as the prices are being sold too high for fans to buy performing artists this year such as Taylor Swift or Beyonce.


“I think it’s a huge issue that artists aren’t getting as much revenue from it as they would like to. Their concert tickets are being set so high that their audiences can’t come and see them perform,” Antonelli said. 


AP Micro and Macroeconomics teacher Tamie Betsill spoke out on the high prices that Ticketmaster has and how it supports their monopoly.  


“There’s a fine line that they walk to where you don’t want to crush your demand for the price being too high, but obviously, they do have control over all of their fees,” Betsill said. 


Even though Ticketmaster is in charge of the fees and taxes at checkout, an overlooked aspect of the expenses is the demand of which the artist is requesting. 


“It’s not all Ticketmaster;, a lot of it is what the artist is asking. I know that there’s been some complaints about the breakdown and sharing of the revenue that’s been received,” Betsill said. 


To help out all of the fans who were wronged by the “Eras” Tour debacle, Antonelli leaves some advice to heighten the chances of getting tickets for future concerts.


“I guess just use multiple emails because for me and my family, I literally used every single email we had, which I think was like six of them and we only got three selected for verified fan. I guess just use a ton of emails, plan to take off school or work that day,” Antonelli said. 


Antonelli extends her heart out to those who were unable to get tickets to Taylor Swift. 


“If I could give you all Taylor Swift tickets, I would in a heartbeat. And I know I’m super grateful. I’m super blessed,” Antonelli said. 

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