On November 15th, millions of people with presale codes logged on to Ticketmaster to get tickets for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour — or at least they tried to. The website, run by the massive entertainment company Live Nation Entertainment, struggled under the load, with many users getting errors and being told their information was incorrect.
Things only got worse from there. Two days later, Ticketmaster announced it was canceling the planned public ticket sale, as it didn’t have enough tickets left to meet what it called “historically unprecedented demand.”Taylor Swift responded to the controversy by saying that she and her team were repeatedly assured the company’s systems would be able to handle the traffic (which a now-deleted Ticketmaster post claimed was twice as much as the top five tours of 2022 and Super Bowl combined).
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Live Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold during a hearing in January.
The government has reportedly opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation after several lawmakers raised concerns about it being a monopoly and whether there was enough competition in the ticket-selling space. Ticketmaster has long been accused of being anti-competitive — Pearl Jam filed a complaint about it to the DOJ in 1994.
Now the nation’s ticketing giants will announce at a White House event that they’ve promised to disclose the full price of tickets upfront, ditching hidden fees.
Read on below for the latest in the Ticketmaster / Taylor Swift drama.
President Joe Biden is set to announce that ticketing giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster have promised to disclose the full price of tickets upfront, essentially removing the haunting prospect of hidden fees at checkout, according to Reuters.Read Article >
Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been the focus of regulatory ire for years, but scrutiny hit a fever pitch last November when Live Nation canceled ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. While the Swift cancellations were reportedly due to a bot attack, the event became the focus of critics who argue that Live Nation drives up ticketing costs and fees for customers by entering into anti-competitive contracts with venues.
Ticketmaster is about to face its next big test. Just over three months after the Taylor Swift debacle, Ticketmaster will be the place to buy tickets for Beyoncé’s upcoming Renaissance World Tour that was announced on Wednesday.Read Article >
Like with the Taylor Swift presale, people who want to get tickets for Beyoncé’s shows in North America will have to register with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform. Ticketmaster notes in a blog post that registering does not guarantee that you’ll get tickets, and the Verified Fans who actually get a code to buy tickets will be determined by a lottery system.
Months after Ticketmaster botched sales for Taylor Swift’s most recent tour, a top executive from its parent company, Live Nation, faced scrutiny over its market dominance on Capitol Hill from senators and Swifties alike.Read Article >
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Live Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold throughout the hearing on Tuesday, arguing that the company’s control over the concert and events industry has harmed consumers. In her opening statement, antitrust committee chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called Live Nation’s business model the “definition of monopoly.”
Jan 24The Senate Judiciary hearing over Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift debacle is starting now.
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” will have Joe Berchtold, the CFO and president of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, and others testifying.
Dec 4, 2022
A group of 26 Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster following last month’s ticketing fiasco that left frustrated users unable to buy tickets for Swift’s The Eras Tour (via Deadline). In a lawsuit submitted to a California court, the fans accuse Ticketmaster’s parent company, LiveNation, of “anticompetitive conduct” that let scalpers snap up a surplus of tickets, resulting in higher ticket prices for the fans who could actually get their hands on them.Read Article >
In addition to alleging that Ticketmaster forces fans to “exclusively” use the service to purchase tickets at prices “above what a competitive market price would be,” the suit claims Ticketmaster also profits off the resale of those tickets through its secondary marketplace. As outlined on Ticketmaster’s website, the company adds a service fee to each ticket sold on its fan-to-fan exchange — but doesn’t specify how much — that’s paid by the buyer on top of the ticket price. The lawsuit claims Ticketmaster has “conspired” with stadiums “to force fans to buy more expensive tickets that Ticketmaster gets additional fees from every time the tickets are resold.”
Nov 22, 2022The Ticketmaster Taylor Swift fiasco sparked a congressional hearing.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have announced they’re holding a hearing to “examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry” after Ticketmaster’s site crumbled when millions of people tried to buy tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour.
We don’t know when the hearing will be, or who’s testifying, so it’s unclear if Taylor herself will be taking the stand.Chairwoman Klobuchar, Ranking Member Lee Announce Hearing on Lack of Competition in Ticketing Markets
[U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar]
Nov 19, 2022
The Department of Justice is investigating Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment over antitrust concerns, The New York Times reported Friday. Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010 but have come under scrutiny for largely dominating the live event ticket sales market. Ticketmaster has received renewed attention after it dropped the ball with Taylor Swift ticket sales this week.Read Article >
The DOJ has reached out to venues and “players in the ticket market” in recent months to ask about the company’s practices, according to the NYT, meaning the probe predates this week’s debacle. DOJ spokesperson Arlen Morales declined to comment.
Nov 18, 2022
Update, November 19th 8:12AM ET: Ticketmaster has since reinstated the post on its website with some minor changes. You can see our original story and Ticketmaster’s previous post below.Read Article >
Ticketmaster has taken down its explanation for why buying a ticket to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour was an absolute disaster. The explanation, titled “The Taylor Swift Onsale Explained,” was live in two places on Ticketmaster’s website on Thursday and is now gone from both. But because the internet never forgets, you can still read it thanks to Google’s cache, and in case that fails, we’ve embedded it at the bottom of this article.
Nov 18, 2022
Taylor Swift has spoken out about the boondoggle that was the Ticketmaster sale for her The Eras Tour, and it doesn’t seem like she’s saying sorry just for show. In a statement posted to her Instagram story, which you can read in full below, she says that she’s “trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward” but that she’s “not going to make excuses for anyone.”Read Article >
She doesn’t mince words when talking about her fans’ experiences with Ticketmaster, saying that “it really pisses me off” what people had to go through to get tickets. She also thanks her fans for wanting to come to her shows, saying they “have no idea how much that means.”
Nov 18, 2022Today on the Vergecast we talked Taylor Swift, Twitter, and the disaster of Meta’s latest headset.
Okay, those weren’t the only topics!
But Adi did join us to talk about her Meta Quest Pro review and just how bad this product and some of the software surrounding it is. Then Nilay relayed his adventures in buying Taylor Swift tickets, Twitter news broke live on the podcast, and we all agreed knobs are good.
Nov 17, 2022
Ticketmaster is canceling the upcoming public sale of Taylor Swift tickets after the presale debacle earlier this week. Ticketmaster said it canceled the sale “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand” in a tweet Thursday afternoon.Read Article >
Tuesday’s presale for Swift’s The Eras Tour was a disaster, with Ticketmaster crashing following “historically unprecedented demand.” Ticketmaster said millions came to the service to try and buy presale tickets.
Nov 15, 2022
The massive demand for presale tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest concert tour crashed Ticketmaster on Tuesday. The company’s support account tweeted that fans “may be experiencing intermittent issues” and that it’s “urgently” working to resolve problems.Read Article >
On Tuesday afternoon, Ticketmaster said that the presale has led to “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets with “millions” showing up to the presale. Despite the issues, the company says it has sold “hundreds of thousands” of tickets already, but when the sales are for the giant stadiums that Swift will be playing at, that may not be as impressive as it sounds. Ticketmaster will also be delaying the onsale times for the Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Santa Clara, and Seattle shows to 3PM PT. The Capital One presale, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, is being rescheduled to Wednesday.