The Ticketmaster Disaster: Not So Swift…

Ticketmaster’s monopoly angers fans and congress members alike.

Hannah Yon, staff

What do world famous artists, concert-hungry teenagers, and U.S. congressional members have in common? Anger toward Ticketmaster.

Senator Dick Durban best summarized it during the January 24th Senate hearing by stating there isn’t a clear solution to Ticketmaster’s monopoly since “the ticketing and live entertainment markets lack competition.”

This lack of competition had everyone turning to Ticketmaster, their nemesis, to grab tickets for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras” Tour. As fans got their hopes up about getting presale tickets, disappointment drove them to unite against this common enemy.

Among the victims was B-CC junior Luli Sabella-Capuano, who spent about six hours trying to get tickets with her friend. Similarly, B-CC junior Sydney Zimmerman had a credit card out and ready to go, only for the “page to crash and kick [her] out of the queue.” She was hoping that at least one of her friends would get tickets, but not a single one did.

Swift’s team announced that they had checked in with Ticketmaster representatives multiple times before the ticket sale went live. They were assured that Ticketmaster could handle the high demand that was expected from fans. This, of course, was not the case because Ticketmaster’s website crashed the day that presale tickets were eligible for purchase, kicking out millions of fans.

With Ticketmaster being a monopoly, fans panicked and felt they had nowhere else to turn after their main ticketing website crashed. This is not to mention the frustration with Ticketmaster’s prices, which are often significantly higher than the individual artists’ desired prices. Taylor Swift announced that her ticket prices should range from $49 to $449, with better seats accounting for the more expensive tickets.

Yet, Sabella-Capuano stated, “The cheapest [tickets] were around $120. I think the most expensive ones that I saw were $799.” Considering how Ticketmaster racked up $1.1 billion in revenue in 2021 alone, it’s clear this isn’t their first rodeo with expensive tickets.

Nevertheless, concertgoers don’t have much of a choice but to deal with Ticketmaster’s shortcomings. Buying resold tickets from individuals or third parties can be risky because scammers are prominent, whereas Ticketmaster’s tickets have consistently proven to be real.

Although individual artists could manage ticket sales, this proves to be too much work for just one team to handle, so concertgoers continue to hope for a better alternative to Ticketmaster. As Taylor Swift herself put it, they shouldn’t have to “[go] through several bear attacks” to get tickets.