MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — If you haven’t secured tickets to Taylor Swift’s recently announced The Eras tour, you may be too late.
This is the megastar’s first tour since 2018 and, surprisingly, the tickets were in high demand.
What was unexpected, however, was how high that demand would soar.
According to a statement released by Ticketmaster, over 3.5 million people have pre-registered for the Verified Fan Sale – the largest registration event in the site’s history.
“In the past about 40% of the invited fans actually stopped by and bought tickets and most bought an average of 3 tickets. In cooperation with the artist team, around 1.5 million people were invited to take part in advance sales on all 52 show dates. including the 47 sold by Ticketmaster,” the statement said, in part. “The remaining 2 million verified fans have been placed on the waiting list.”
The company said that verified fan codes usually help handle traffic volumes on the site.
“But this time, the staggering number of bot attacks, as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes, drove unprecedented traffic to our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – four times our previous peak,” the statement continued.
This meant that for the millions who tuned in, some sales were slowed while others were pushed to help stabilize the system.
Ticketmaster estimated that about 15% of interactions encountered issues, which the company described as “15% too many.”
Even with that percentage, over 2,000,000 tickets were sold to buyers with verified fan codes, which is the most tickets they sold in a single day.
However, millions of fans remain disappointed with how the company handled the presale – a disappointment that only grew after Ticketmaster announced on Thursday They would cancel Friday’s general public sale.
Due to exceptionally high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet demand, tomorrow’s public presale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.
— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022
For Kenosha’s Heather Young, the cancellation means her daughters won’t be able to attend her first concert unless she secures resale tickets at affordable prices.
“It let us pick seats, but then it kept saying we can’t buy tickets on this device, or it said, ‘Sorry, someone else took your tickets,'” Young said.
Young, her 14-year-old daughter, and her mother had all signed up for presale codes. She spent almost eight hours on multiple devices hoping to get ahead in the queue.
“It was the same, you would come to the end and it would be wrong,” Young said.
She noticed that an acquaintance had posted on Facebook that they were selling their tickets somewhere in Section 400 for the Chicago stadium show.
“These tickets were probably $99,” Young said, adding that she reached out to them with intent to purchase. “She texts me and says, ‘Okay, they’re $800 a piece.’
Angela Stadelman, who calls herself “Swiftie,” described the pre-sale day as “the hunger games of tickets.”
“It was really overwhelming and frustrating because a lot of people put most of their day into this presale,” Stadelman said. “It’s definitely unfortunate for the fans, the many fans who messed up, who really tried and put their time and energy into getting tickets. And they didn’t because Ticketmaster’s service was unhappy.”
Stadelman said she was kicked out of the queue multiple times as the site continued to crash, causing a “roller coaster” of emotions.
“It’s stressful getting tickets, right. But it’s even more stressful when you’re in this really hectic process when the service you’re using isn’t cooperating,” Stadelman said. “We shouldn’t have to worry about that.”
She got tickets in advance from Capital One on Wednesday, but Stadelman said it shouldn’t have come to this.
“I love Taylor Swift. She’s one of my favorite artists ever. I feel sorry for the fans who didn’t get tickets because it was exhausting to be in that position that day,” Stadelman said.
Cassie Ostertag, another Swiftie, echoed the same sentiment, adding that it took her a full day of work to secure tickets for the Minneapolis show.
“I had the computer set up an hour earlier, but I waited about eight hours,” Ostertag said. “I have never experienced something like that.”
Ostertag said being able to say she’s secured tickets “feels crazy”.
“I feel very lucky. I’m just lucky enough that I was able to get something despite all the waiting,” said Ostertag. “I clapped my hands and jumped up and down like we finally made it!”
According to Ticketmaster, their “leading ticketing technology” wasn’t perfect for Taylor’s sale.
“But we are always working to improve the ticket buying experience. Especially for the high demand for sales that keep testing new frontiers,” the statement said. “While it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know there’s more we can do to improve the experience and that’s our focus.”