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Congress to Hold Hearing After Ticketmaster's Taylor Swift Tour Fiasco

Taylor Swift
Brian Friedman/Shutterstock

Don't mess with Swifties.


The Taylor Swift Ticketmaster catastrophe may have a silver lining after all.

An antitrust panel in the Senate will hold a hearing regarding Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly on their industry, per an announcement from Senator Amy Klobucher on Tuesday.

“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” she said. “We will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment industry harms customers and artists alike.”

In other words, the hearing is a direct response to what happened with Swift’s presale for her Eras Tour on the site. The company, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, said it sent out 1.5 million presale codes to fans (and scalpers) who had registered, but their site was unable to meet the requests to access the sale, which they chalked up party to “a staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes.” Ticketmaster did not require fans to input presale codes before entering the virtual “waiting room” for the sales.

Some fans reported waiting for a turn to buy tickets for up to seven hours, and sales for several west coast sales were pushed to a later time at the last minute to avoid further strain. When fans did get in to purchase, they were frequently met with error codes, and repeated claims that someone else had beaten them to tickets. The sale ended with many who had gotten in never managing to secure tickets at all, and those who did were hit with Ticketmaster’s nonsensically exorbitant service fees.

If you’ve bought tickets from Ticketmaster in the past, you’ve probably experienced something akin to this, although possibly on a lesser scale. With frequent claims of “unprecedented demand” every time their site is not up to the challenge for a new tour, it’s become clear that something simply is not working at Ticketmaster — but it’s the only option many bigger artists have.

“Ticketmaster’s exclusive deals with the vast majority of venues on the ‘Eras’ tour required us to ticket through their system,” AEG Presents, which is handling Swift’s tour, told CNBC. “We didn’t have a choice.”

Swift herself said that she and her team “asked [Ticketmaster], multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”

Ticketmaster maintains it has done nothing wrong, but it seems like that may be up to the Department of Justice to decide in the future, thanks to the vocal outrage of Swifties across the country.

Is Taylor Swift touring in 2022?

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour will kick off in 2023.

What tour is Taylor Swift doing next?

Rather than doing a devoted tour for any of her four most recent albums, Swift is doing an Eras Tour, covering her entire career thus far.

How much are Taylor Swift tickets?

Thanks to Ticketmaster botching the sale, tickets for Swift's upcoming tour are only available via resellers, at astronomically inflated prices.

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