Art by Kate Xia

Fans distressed by heavy demand for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

Junior Samantha Mann was elated when she received the presale code for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert tickets through her email. She geared up for fateful Tuesday morning in the middle of November only to find that there was a delay from the website crash. When the afternoon finally rolled around, Mann logged onto Ticketmaster, holding her breath as she clicked the button to get in the queue. 

Seconds passed, then minutes, until she eventually realized she had been sitting there for three hours, painstakingly waiting for her place in line to move up by a couple thousand people.

“Once I finally got into the ticket purchasing page, everytime I tried to click on a ticket, it notified me that someone else had already bought it,” Mann said. “Finding out that there were no more tickets left was the most frustrating and disappointing part after the wait.”

Taylor Swift returned to the center stage with a bang as she released her new album “Midnights” in late October and subsequently announced her first world tour in nearly five years, with the last one being the Reputation Tour in 2018. 

Starting in March, the U.S. leg of the Eras Tour will span 20 cities, with international dates to be announced shortly. In November, several presale opportunities opened across different platforms like SeatGeek and Capital One, allowing fans to enter a lottery-style drawing to purchase tickets early.

Mann said she was excited for Swift to go on tour because of her love for the artist’s music and the anticipation that has built up over the past years, with re-releases and new tracks.

“Hopefully, we can still find decent resale prices,” Mann said. “I understand that it has always been a struggle with a platform like Ticketmaster but I’m not giving up yet.”

According to Ticketmaster, the ticket-selling site serving as the official selling partner for the Tour and the platform in charge of the biggest Eras Tour presale event, there was an overwhelming demand for tickets. 

Biology and chemistry teacher Mary Haddad participated in the Capital One presale, where any cardholder can queue for the tickets in a separate presale. Haddad said she is a fan of Swift’s music and how her concerts can bring people together.

“I think Swift is good at storytelling and her songs are well written –– if you’re listening to the words, you can kind of understand what it is that she must have felt throughout her (experiences),” Haddad said. “I was planning on visiting my best friend, who I never (get to) see since she lives in Seattle, to watch the show together in the summer.”

Citing difficulties with their online systems, Ticketmaster said the website crashed a couple minutes after the original presale time as 14 million people simultaneously rushed to secure their tickets. As a result, Ticketmaster had to delay the Verified Fan Presale Event by five hours and cancel the general ticket sale which was originally scheduled for Nov. 18. 

Haddad said purchasing tickets was not a fair process to fans. 

“All fans should be able to go to the stadium that’s closest to them if they can afford the tickets, and they should not have to buy a resale ticket,” Haddad said.

A long-time supporter of Swift, sophomore Aria Shah said she has been waiting for the singer to go on tour for the past couple of years. Shah purchased the tickets for the tour using her presale code, and although the seats were not her first choice, she is excited about the tour. 

“Honestly, I’m just glad I was able to get tickets when some people could not even get out of line, and I can’t wait to see her incredible stage presence paired with her choreography,” Shah said. “I also think the whole concept of an Eras Tour is so cool because I’ve grown up with her music, so it’ll be like my whole childhood is coming back in one night.”