Overwhelmed by demand, the Ticketmaster website is canceling the public sale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s American tour

The announcement in early November of Taylor Swift’s return to the stageHe had caused a stir four years after his last tour. When the ticket sales started, it became a fiasco.

“Due to particularly high demand (…) and an insufficient supply of remaining tickets to meet this demand”The public sale of tickets for the singer’s American tour scheduled for Friday has expired “canceled”, announced the specialized website Ticketmaster on TwitterThursday, 11/17

The company said it sold 2 million tickets for the pop star in advance on Tuesday, a record for an artist in one day. Despite safeguards in place, such as verifying fan accounts and issuing codes to purchase tickets in advance, the ticketing site complained in a press release.“a staggering number of bot attacks”.

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Waiting times, breakdowns and rising prices

Ticketmaster’s system received 3.5 billion requests that caused errors, the company said. Thousands of fans shared their experiences on social media, complaining about hours of waiting, mistakes and rising prices for sometimes misplaced seats.

Ticketing sites linked to Ticketmaster also reported outages, service disruptions and other issues following massive fan logins, many of whom ultimately were unable to obtain tickets despite receiving presale codes.

This cacophony has reignited the debate surrounding this giant of the ticketing industry, which has fueled music lovers’ frustration for years, particularly over hidden fees and skyrocketing prices. Prices for rock legend Bruce Springsteen’s concerts, which run into the thousands of dollars, caused an outcry earlier this year, but Ticketmaster blamed the resale market. Some resellers are already charging between $2,000 and $9,000 (between 1,900 and 8,600 euros) for the concerts of Taylor Swift’s tour, which is scheduled to start in March and end in August 2023 after a marathon of 52 dates.

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“As the ticket resale market has grown to over $10 billion in recent years, artists and crews have lost that revenue to resellers.”said Ticketmaster, adding that promoters were trying “Regain That Lost Revenue” in “fair market prices”.

A “monopoly out of control”

A representative for the band said Ticketmaster is not involved in the resale of tickets to Taylor Swift shows. Doubts remain as to how many places are for sale and how they will ultimately be put on the market. “While it may not be possible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know there is more we can do to improve the experience and that is our focus.”according to the company statement.

Several US elected officials have criticized the 2010 merger between Ticketmaster and entertainment giant Live Nation, calling it a “a”. “Out of Control Monopoly” by Democrat David Cicilline, who asked the US Department of Justice to investigate in 2021 “Live Nation Efforts To Inflate Prices And Stifle Competition”. In the same camp, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Richard Blumenthal want to study “The competitive situation in the ticketing sector. »

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Antimonopoly and consumer protection groups have also recently called for an investigation into the group. “Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, have an industry monopoly that allows them to regularly abuse their power and put customers, artists and venues at their mercy.”commented the Agence France-Presse Krista Brown, analyst at the NGO American Economic Liberties Project.

As early as the 1990s, American rock band Pearl Jam denounced Ticketmaster’s practices, with two of their members even testifying before a congressional subcommittee. But few people had had the courage to follow the Seattle group’s approach, which ultimately had no legal action.

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Le Monde with AP and AFP

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