Ticketmaster apologizes to Taylor Swift during Senate hearing after ticket fiasco: ‘We need to do better’
So this is Ticketmaster swallowin’ its pride, standin’ in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee sayin’ it’s sorry for mishandling Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour ticket sales.
Live Nation President and CFO Joe Berchtold apologized to Swift and her fans for a second time while speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, during which he claimed that industrial scale ticket scalping played a part in the ticketing fiasco and urged lawmakers to find a solution to the ongoing problem.
“The recent on sale experience with Taylor Swift, one of the world’s most popular artists, has highlighted the need to address these issues urgently,” Berchtold said, per the Associated Press. “We knew bots would attack that on sale and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic that we ever experienced and for the first time in 400 Verified Fans on sales, they came after our Verified Fan pᴀssword servers as well.”
Berchtold explained that the wave of bots attempting to access the Ticketmaster website “required us to slow down and even pause our sales.” He continued, “This is what led to a terrible consumer experience, which we deeply regret. We apologize to the fans. We apologize to Ms. Swift. We need to do better and we will do better.”
During the hearing, Berchtold also said that Ticketmaster does not set the ticket prices nor dictate how many will go on sale, per AP. He also added that the service fees typically attached to the final ticket price are set by the individual concert venues.
Ticketmaster invoked the wrath of Swifties everywhere when the company’s Verified Fan presale for her upcoming tour on Nov. 15 saw excited fans met with site errors, delays, and more than five-hour-long wait times in order to secure tickets. The public outrage grew louder after the company canceled its general public sale just two days later on Nov. 17 “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”
In a statement released that month, Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans and revealed the musician broke the company’s previous record by selling two million tickets in a single day. It added that a “staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes” overwhelmed the website’s servers and caused significant delays for fans attempting to purchase concert tickets, if they were able to obtain any at all.
Those who were unable to secure tickets during the presale have since had to face absurdly high resale prices, which can range anywhere from $400 to $31,000-plus for a single ticket on popular platforms like StubHub and SeatGeek. The sour experience has led some of Swift’s fans to seek legal action against Ticketmaster, claiming that the company “intentionally and purposefully” misled purchasers “by allowing scalpers and bots access to TaylorSwiftTix presale.”
After the tour’s general sale was canceled, Swift shared her own disappointment in a Nov. 18 statement. “There are a mulтιтude 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,” she wrote. “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 ᴀssured they could.”
Ticketmaster’s apology occurred on the same day as the 2023 Oscar nominations. Despite being previously shortlisted, Swift did not receive a Best Original Song nomination for her track “Carolina” from the film Where the Crawdads Sing. Her short film All Too Well, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, had not been previously listed and did not receive a nomination. However, Swift is currently in the process of directing her first feature film, so an Academy Award may not be too far away in her future.
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