Taylor Swift fighting for change after Eras Tour Ticketmaster fiasco: ‘It’s predatory and awful’
More Taylor Swift fans are set to join a lawsuit against Ticketmaster after its botched US ticket sale for her 2023 Eras Tour.
Tickets for the popstar’s first gigs in five years went on presale in November through a Verified Fan system, which over 3.5 million people registered for.
Over two million tickets were sold but with the system overwhelmed, Ticketmaster announced a cancellation of a planned open release.
“Honestly the whole experience was extremely stressful and really inaccessible,” Shivani Dasani, a Taylor Swift fan who missed out on tickets, told PinkNews.
“You had five minutes to choose your seats and for a lot of people the only options were the VIP $800 seats.
“You’re faced with the decision to either spend the money or run the risk of never seeing your favourite artist live after waiting for seven hours.
“You’re obviously just going to spend money you don’t have because you’re so panicked. It’s predatory and it’s awful.”
Many didn’t even make it through to the Ticketmaster sale – after which, tickets were put on secondary seller sites with prices reaching $22,000.
Over two dozen fans from 13 states are now suing both Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation for “fraud, price-fixing and anti-trust violation” over the Eras Tour.
The lawsuit filed on 2 December in California accuses Ticketmaster of “intentional deception” over the fiasco, stating: “Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases and other issues similar to the prior presale.”
Attorney Jennifer Kinder told TMZ on Tuesday (6 December) that more fans are set to join the lawsuit – and that she won’t accept any offer of a settlement.
“Swiftie fans are going to make sure changes are made,” she said.
The lawsuit explains that Ticketmaster has a monopoly on the industry, explaining: “Because no other venue can hold half as many people as the stadiums and venues working through Ticketmaster, Taylor Swift and other popular musicians have no choice but to work through Ticketmaster.”
The lawsuit alleges that contrary to taking steps to resolve such issues, Ticketmaster “has taken steps to make additional profit from the scalped tickets”.
Ticketmaster is accused of violating the California Cartwright Act, which tackles exclusive dealings and price discrimination, and the California Unfair Competition Law.
The lawsuit comes weeks after the US Justice Department announced they would be investigating Live Nation Entertainment on the grounds of “anti-trust” violation.
At the time Live Nation stated it “takes it responsibilities under the anti-trust laws seriously”.
And while Dasani thinks it is “admirable”, she doesn’t think the lawsuit will be “the solution to the problem” which can only be fixed with “actual competition” to Ticketmaster’s monopoly.
Like many fans, Dasani has found huge solace in Taylor Swift’s music.
“It felt like the perfect show for my first time seeing her live,” Dasani said. “Her music has always meant a lot to me, particularly in difficult times in my life.”
After the Ticketmaster debacle Taylor Swift took to her own social media to apologise to upset fans who were left ticketless after waiting several hours, or unable to afford extortionate costs.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really p**ses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
Dasani agrees. “Getting tickets to see your favourite artist play your favourite songs live should be an enjoyable experience, it should be exciting.”
Ticketmaster also released its own apology to both Taylor Swift and fans, saying: “We want to apologise to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets.”
It claimed its technical infrastructure was not able to handle the volume of requests causing a collapse of the system.
If successful, the plaintiffs want a civil fine of $2,500 per violation and for their attorney fees to be covered. Ticketmaster has denied anti-competition practices and refutes violating anti-trust agreements.
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