Taylor Swift did not mention Ticketmaster or its parent company, concert promoter Live Nation, by name when she posted a scathing statement to Instagram on Friday morning. She didn’t have to. The statement came a day after Ticketmaster canceled her upcoming the general public on-sale for her “The Eras” tour’s because they ran out of tickets during the pre-sale.
“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 a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
This is the first time in the California-based ticket distributor’s 47-year history that it has canceled a previously announced general on-sale because of lack of inventory.
“Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale … has been cancelled,” Ticketmaster tweeted Thursday.
When verified fans entered the Ticketmaster pre-sale and tried the codes they were previously emailed on Tuesday, many reported that they did not work.
According to Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, Ticketmaster’s largest shareholder, 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans were supposed to be able to purchase tickets during the presale. However, the site received 14 million purchase requests with the correct codes. Many of those came from bots, Maffie told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” referring to autonomous programs designed to complete internet transactions.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” Swift wrote in her Instagram post. “There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”
Swift will apparently have help looking into things. On Friday, the New York Times reported that the Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into parent company Live Nation’s practices. Though the probe predates the Swift ticket fiasco, many government officials see the two as intimately related.
On Thursday, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to Ticketmaster raising concern about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry and the effect that has on the service it provides to consumers.
“Reports about system failures, increasing fees, and complaints of conduct that violate the consent decree Ticketmaster is under suggest that Ticketmaster continues to abuse its market positions,” Klobuchar (D-Mn.) wrote to Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation.
“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services,” her letter continued. “That can result in the types of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones that pay the price.”
Swift’s “The Eras” tour is set to kick off in March 17 in Glendale, Ariz.
“And to those who didn’t get tickets,” Swift wrote, “all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs.”
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