Ticketmaster Apologizes to Taylor Swift + Her Fans Over Eras Tour Ticketing Disaster
Ticketmaster is apologizing to Taylor Swift and her fans after the ticketing process for her 2023 Eras Tour went horribly wrong, resulting in long delays, platform crashes and millions of unhappy fans without tickets.
A Verified Fan pre-sale for the upcoming concerts began on Tuesday (Nov. 15), but due to overwhelming demand, many fans experienced long waits that ended with being logged out of Ticketmaster without scoring a ticket to any show. Ticketmaster moved a second pre-sale to the next day, and those fans experienced similar issues. More than two million fans ultimately secured tickets to Swift's upcoming shows, but so many fans were left frustrated and empty-handed that it made international headlines over the course of several days.
On Thursday (Nov. 17), the situation turned even worse for fans who had been unable to access tickets during the pre-sale, when Ticketmaster canceled the public on-sale, scheduled for Friday (Nov. 18) at 10AM local time. The outcry from upset Swifties was so extreme that Taylor Swift subsequently issued a statement online, expressing her anger at the botched tour rollout.
"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 wrote in part, adding, "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."
In a new posting to Ticketmaster's website, the company explains that although they tried to make sure real fans got access to the best tickets, the demand from both fans and bots trying to buy tickets for resale was simply so unexpectedly enormous that it overwhelmed the system.
"First, we want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans — especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets," the statement says, going on to share that by requiring registration for Verified Fan, the system is "designed to help manage high demand shows — identifying real humans and weeding out bots" so as to smooth the process out and shorten wait times.
More than 3.5 million people pre-registered via Verified Fan for Swift's Eras Tour presale, and of those, about 1.5 million received codes to join the presale for the 52 shows, while an additional two million fans were added to a waiting list in case there were still tickets left over. But on the actual day of the pre-sale, "the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak."
Ticketmaster goes on to state that all 2.4 million tickets that have been sold for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour went to Verified Fans, marking the largest number of tickets a single artist has ever sold in a single day. The ticket service estimates that approximately fifteen percent of users experienced delays, noting, "that’s 15% too many, including passcode validation errors that caused fans to lose tickets they had carted."
The statement also notes that even when everything goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, "many fans are left empty handed. For example: 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."
Despite the explanation and apology, Ticketmaster is still not offering any resolution for fans who were counting on a public on-sale, saying only, "We’re working to shore up our tech for the new bar that has been set by demand for the Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour. Once we get through that, if there are any next steps, updates will be shared accordingly."
Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is slated to launch on March 18.