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Update: Ticketmaster Cancels Taylor Swift Onsales Amid ‘Extraordinarily High Demand’

A number of politicians ripped the ticketing giant following consumer outrage
Taylor Swift
(Credit: Beth Garrabrant)

UPDATE: Ticketmaster is canceling tomorrow’s planned public onsales for Taylor Swift’s Eras stadium tour due to “extraordinarily high demand” on its infrastructure and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” No new date for the onsales has been announced.

Don’t say Pearl Jam didn’t warn you in 1994. Yet, here we are in 2022, and Ticketmaster continues to cause major issues for fans who want to see their favorite artist. On Tuesday (Nov. 15), tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour went on sale to “Verified Fans,” Ticketmaster’s service that attempts to ensure that only real fans obtain seats. To the surprise of no one, it failed … miserably.

So many Swifties logged on that they crashed the company’s servers, leading to an outpouring of complaints on social media. In the aftermath, a number of politicians sharply criticized the ticketing giant and demanded answers about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. This morning, in a statement published on its website, Ticketmaster attempted to explain the situation.

“The Eras on sale made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and continues to set records,” the company said. “We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour. We want to share some information to help explain what happened.”

In short, two million people registered in advance for Verified Fan, which normally helps “manage the volume coming into the site” during a major onsale. “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.”

Continuing, it said, “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.”

Ultimately, Ticketmaster says it sold more than 2 million Swift tickets on Tuesday, “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day. Every ticket was sold to a buyer with a Verified Fan code.”

Pointing to issues of simple supply and demand for Swift’s 52-date tour, Ticketmaster calculated that “based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing). That’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years. While it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that’s what we’re focused on.”