Ticketmaster strikes again



A poster for Swift’s upcoming Era Tour, which was impacted by Ticketmaster.

On Nov 15, 2022, many of my peers were missing from their morning classes. An anxious excitement saturated the halls, and abstracted minds continuously checked their text threads. The absent adolescents in question were waiting in Ticketmaster’s queue, or in aching suspense, for Taylor Swift’s concert tickets. 

During ticket sales for Swift’s ‘Era Tour,’ Ticketmaster announced a ‘presale’ for ‘verified fans’ providing a code to a select few individuals. These select few ended up being millions. Due to the large volume of fans, the site crashed repetitively meaning that not even all ‘verified fans’ had the opportunity to purchase tickets. Even more, because Ticketmaster poorly calculated the number of people allowed in the presale, all further sales were canceled, meaning that only a small percentage of fans were even given the chance to purchase tickets.  

Tickets to Swift’s tour are now being resold at absurd dollar amounts—some reportedly as high as $90,000. This means that the tour is no longer accessible to the average person and that there will potentially be many open seats at the concerts with no opportunity for them to be filled.

Similar chaos ensued when tickets went on sale for pop sensation Harry Styles’ most recent tour, and a similar uncertainty caused complaints then, too. These insane circumstances are in part due to the mass amounts of people hoping to attend said concerts, but Ticketmaster’s outrageous policies and fees also have a lot to do with it. 

The problems with Ticketmaster are not newly discussed, however. As long as thirty years ago, in 1992, the band Pearl Jam began efforts to try and combat the outrageous upcharges. The efforts created a court case, and eventually, the proposal of a bill that would require all ticket brokers to clearly state any additional charges prior to purchase. This bill was inevitably nixed, and the investigation as a whole was dropped. 

The hold that this ticket distribution site has on the music industry is wrong and incredibly harmful.”

This opens room for questions as to why Pearl Jam, and other artists like them, wouldn’t just stop selling their tickets through the site. However, that was Pearl Jam’s original course of action back in the 90s; they attempted to orchestrate an entire tour without involving the business. In response, Ticketmaster began allegedly making secret legal threats to promoters and venues, causing Pearl Jam to give up on their efforts.

This corruption, and the connections that Ticketmaster has, is no doubt contributing to the silence of artists, such as Swift and Styles, who could fear losing mass amounts of money, or opportunities to perform. 

The hold that this ticket distribution site has on the music industry is wrong and incredibly harmful. It hinders the ability of so many to enjoy music, sporting, and other public events. Unfortunately, however, the only way to truly fix these problems would be to create the legislation that Pearl Jam tried and failed with in the past—a very disheartening reality. 

No matter what the case, legislation and light must be brought to price-gouging ticket distributors. Such absurd fees, lack of care for consumers, and corruption in the music industry should continue to be spoken about. Performers and fans should not be in the hands of one company’s power.