Many Taylor Swift fans looking to score tickets for her upcoming concert tour last week were left empty handed, leaving them frustrated at the company responsible for the ticket rollout.
Fans attempting to buy pre-sale tickets for her new tour on Ticketmaster were met with massive delays and error messages. The company later announced it would be canceling its sale to the general public.
The ticketing giant apologized, citing technical issues and not enough tickets to meet demand. The company states that based on the volume of traffic to its site, Swift would need to perform over 900 stadium shows to meet demand, which is nearly 20 times the number of shows she is doing for her upcoming tour.
“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,” according to a Ticketmaster statement.
Ticketmaster is a dominant force in the ticketing business, merging with Live Nation back in 2010 to create Live Nation Entertainment. Antitrust concerns and calls for the company to break up have resurfaced in light of increased attention in the past week.
The New York Times reports that the U.S. Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, even prior to the recent concert ticket rollout fiasco.
Selena Fragassi, music writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, said the city’s music scene is in a unique position because there are many independent venues that use alternative websites to Ticketmaster to sell tickets for their shows.
“You have a model here that really could be for the rest of the country to follow by promoting independent venues,” Fragassi said. “Chicago’s local music scene is thriving, so if anything, maybe this will put more focus on more underdog musicians that people maybe didn’t think of but now will because tickets are being overpriced for these other artists.”
Britt Julious, music critic for the Chicago Tribune, said there is huge competition among artists to play shows even at local venues, especially in light of the pandemic.
“The delay in shows and delays of venues being closed for so long has made it really difficult for a lot of local artists to be able to get some of those opening slots,” Julious said. “You have so many more artists who are national or international who are trying to do tours as well, so there’s a much larger competition to get in those venues.”