“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 Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour,” the company said in a statement Friday night.
“First, we want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets.”
The crux of the problem, according to Ticketmaster, is that they didn’t anticipate the number of fans who would participate through the Verified Fan program, even though Swift said her team was “assured” Ticketmaster would be prepared. After being hit by record-setting traffic on the opening day of the presale, the sheer number of fans using the site “disrupted the predictability and reliability that is the hallmark of our Verified Fan platform.”
The bulk of Ticketmaster’s explanation about why the ticket-buying process was so chaotic was posted before (and then deleted after) the company announced Thursday that the following day’s general on-sale for those still hoping for tickets was canceled “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”
Friday’s statement did not offer clarity about what would happen to the remaining tickets set for the general on-sale, if there even were any. “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,” the company said.
Earlier in the day, Swift posted a statement on Instagram criticizing Ticketmaster for her fans’ nightmarish ticket-buying experience. “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,” Swift wrote. “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who sent a letter addressed to the Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino expressing antitrust concerns over what she called a lack of competition in the live music industry, tweeted Friday, “Ticketmaster is the story of a monopoly gone wild. They are a vertically integrated giant with Live Nation that can drive up prices and offer subpar service. That’s why we will be holding a bipartisan hearing in the Senate on these issues so we can push for solutions.”
It was also revealed on Friday that, even before the Swift fiasco, the Justice Department was already investigating whether Live Nation Entertainment has abused its power as the dominant force in the live music industry.