Live Music

Taylor Swift pre-sale issues ramp up Ticketmaster-Live Nation break up calls

Featured image credit: UltimateWarrior13/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ Edited for size

Taylor Swift fans faced a long wait to try and secure tickets for the singer’s 2023 Eras tour in the US, after Ticketmaster faced “historically unprecedented demand”.

Hundreds of thousands of fans attempted to secure tickets through the Live Nation-owned ticketing company, causing the platform to crash. Fans were able to join the queue after signing up for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan pre-sale. 

During the onsale, thousands were left waiting in the queue for tickets to Swift’s first tour in five years, which will span 52 dates in the US.  

Some fans were left waiting in the queue for up to eight hours, with tickets costing between $49 (£41/€47) and $449. 

Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system was set up to deter bots and scalpers, however the Guardian reported that some tickets are already listed on resale sites like StubHub for as much as $22,700. 

Ticket sales for shows on the West Coast were delayed by three hours, in order to ease the pressure on Ticketmaster. A pre-sale for Capital One credit card-holders was postponed from Tuesday until today (Wednesday). 

Following the troubled Taylor Swift pre-sale, US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Ticketmaster to be broken up. 

In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.” 

Congressman David Cicilline also highlighted the “monopoly” and said in a tweet: “Ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today’s Taylor Swift tickets, and are a symptom of a larger problem.

“It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly.”

The Congressman added: “The merger of these companies should never have been allowed in the first place, which is why I have joined Frank Pallone, Jerry Nadler and Bill Pascrell to call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Live Nation’s efforts ti jack up prices and strangle competition.” 

Pascrell has fervently opposed the merger, and has regularly called for an investigation and the break up of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Earlier this year, he urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DOJ Antitrust Division to consider overturning the merger. 

Recently, a new ‘Break Up Ticketmaster’ coalition was set up, led by the American Economic Liberties Project, Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League. The coalition aims to increase the pressure one the DOJ to investigate and unwind the 2010 Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger.