Live Music

Lawmakers demand answers over Taylor Swift Eras tour ticketing

US lawmakers have penned a letter to Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino to discuss Ticketmaster’s ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to Rapino earlier this week to clarify the ticketing process for the tour, and provide details on how the company will make sure consumers will have better access to live music and entertainment in the future.

It follows the Taylor Swift ticketing debacle, which saw Ticketmaster experience unprecedented demand with more than 14 million users, including bots, attempting to purchase tickets. There were a reported 3.5 billion system requests.

This was despite the fact the pre-sale was only supposed to be open to 1.5 million verified fans. Some two million tickets were eventually sold during the pre-sale, with Ticketmaster cancelling the general on-sale due to low inventory.

Roughly 3.5 million fans had pre-registered for the ‘Verified Fan’ programme, which has been designed to stop ticket scalpers.

In the letter, The House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote: “The recent presale ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour – in which millions of fans endured delays, lockouts, and competition with aggressive scammers, scalpers, and bots – raises concerns over the potential unfair and deceptive practices that face consumers and event-goer.”

The letter added: “As such, we write to request a briefing regarding your processes for ticketing for the Eras tour and other recent major tours with similar issues. Additionally, we request that you provide a list of actions your company has taken to ensure that all consumers can better access live entertainment.”

It has also been requested by the Committee that Rapino offers insight into Ticketmaster’s additional fees, insider reserves, dynamic pricing, the restrictions on transferring tickets, the Verified Fan scheme and scalping by bots.

The Committee further requested that Rapino schedule a briefing by December 15.

Tickets for the Eras tour were priced between $49 (£40/€46) and $450, with VIP packages available between $199 and $899. According to CNBC, tickets on secondary markets are ranging between $800 and $20,000 per ticket.