Taylor Swift has finally spoken out about this week’s Ticketmaster disaster. Her three-paragraph statement comes three days after the pre-sale for her much-hyped Eras Tour resulted in bureaucratic chaos; on the very day that the tour’s general public sale was supposed to take place before it was canceled due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory”; and amid mounting pressure from her fans that she rectify or at least address the situation.
On Friday morning, the Midnights singer-songwriter posted a lengthy, heartfelt message in her Instagram stories, offering no “excuses,” but saying it has been “excruciating for [her] to just watch mistakes happen” and it “pisses [her] off” that countless disgruntled Swifties felt “like they went through several bear attacks” to secure tickets — or were unable to purchase tickets at all.
Read Swift’s full statement below:
“Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans. 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 myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. 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. It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them felt 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.”
For those who haven’t been spending hours in Ticketmaster queues this week, here is a primer on exactly what went wrong:
It all started with Tuesday’s pre-sale, a partnership with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, when a reported 3.5 million fans who had pre-registered to receive a special code — and apparently millions more who didn’t have a code — deluged the Ticketmaster site. There were a reported 3.5 billion system requests (including what the company described as “a staggering number of bot attacks”), resulting in four times more traffic than Ticketmaster had ever experienced.
“It’s a function of Taylor Swift. The site was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans,” Greg Maffei, chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster, told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street following the catastrophe. “We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots, which are not supposed to be there.”
Although more than 2 million tickets were sold Nov. 15 — all to fans with pre-registration codes, according to Ticketmaster — many angry fans spent hours on Ticketmaster’s website receiving multiple error messages, being waitlisted, and in many cases eventually logging off ticket-less. Maffei claimed the demand for tickets “could have filled 900 stadiums.”
This all led to the scheduled Friday, Nov. 18 general public sale for the Eras Tour — Swift’s first major concert trek since 2018 — being called off. Fans vented on social media about the debacle, with even U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking to Twitter to complain about Ticketmaster’s monopolization of the concert industry. On Nov. 17, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told the Hollywood Reporter, “There’s no nice way to tell 10 million Swifties, ‘There’s no tickets.’ So they do what they do and they go to social and we deal with that every day.”
The U.S. leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is currently set to launch March 17 in Glendale, Ariz., wrapping with four August 2023 dates at Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium.
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