Taylor Swift has finally spoken out about this week’s fiasco involving North American on-sales for her summer 2023 Eras stadium tour, and in doing so, has placed the blame squarely at the feet of Ticketmaster. Demand was so high during pre-sales that it repeatedly crashed Ticketmaster’s back-end infrastructure, forcing the cancellation of the planned public on-sale today (Nov. 18). In spite of this, the company was still able to transact 2.4 million seats for Eras, which begins March 17 in Glendale, Ariz.
“Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,” Swift wrote on her Instagram Story. “We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house. I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do,” she wrote. “It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse. There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”
“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she continued. “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them. And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means..”
Yesterday, Ticketmaster took the unusual step of commenting publicly on the situation, explaining that two million people registered in advance for its Verified Fan program, which normally helps “manage the volume coming into the site” during a major on-sale. “However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests -– 4x our previous peak,” the company said.
Continuing, it reported, “It usually takes us about an hour to sell through a stadium show, but we slowed down some sales and pushed back others to stabilize the systems. The trade off was longer wait times in queue for some fans. Overall, we estimate about 15% of interactions across the site experienced issues, and that’s 15% too many, including passcode validation errors that caused fans to lose tickets they had carted.”
A number of politicians also sharply criticized Ticketmaster this week and demanded answers about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.