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Fans were 'Ready for It' when Taylor Swift tickets went on sale. Ticketmaster was not.

November 16, 2022
A Michigan State student tries to get in line for Taylor Swift tickets on Ticketmaster.com on Nov. 15, 2022. Photo Illustration by Devin Anderson-Torrez
A Michigan State student tries to get in line for Taylor Swift tickets on Ticketmaster.com on Nov. 15, 2022. Photo Illustration by Devin Anderson-Torrez —
Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Call it what you want, but buying tickets to Taylor Swift’s recently announced tour proved to be anything but swift.

Thousands of MSU students hopped on Ticketmaster between 9:30 and 10 a.m. yesterday in hopes of scoring the chance to see the pop superstar, who released her 10th studio album “Midnights” last month.

The Eras Tour, a sprawling, 52-date North American tour set to kick off in 2023, marks Swift’s first tour since the Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. Another tour, Lover Fest, was planned for 2020 in promotion of her seventh studio album “Lover,” but it was canceled due to COVID-19.

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to today, Swift released three studio albums and two re-recorded albums, leaving fans to wonder when she would tour with the new material – as well as how she would manage to squeeze nearly 100 new songs into a cohesive setlist.

The Eras Tour poster, which pays homage to each of Swift’s 10 distinct eras, seems to reveal the answer: Swift won’t just be touring the rustic “Folklore” and “Evermore” and the synthpop-laden “Midnights” — her entire discography is fair game.

“Since it’s The Eras Tour, it almost makes up for not seeing her in the past,” digital storytelling freshman Patrick Kraft said. “You almost get to relive everything that you missed.”

Buying tickets, however, proved to be less than enchanting. Various champagne problems turned the process into a death by a thousand cuts.

The Great War: Getting the tickets

“Getting tickets was literally like ‘The Great War,’” hospitality freshman Liz Brey said. “She wrote that song about this.”

Despite the presale access opening at 10 a.m., many Swifties were up hours earlier. Kraft, with thousands of other fans, joined the virtual queue at 9:30 a.m.

“I’m sure most Taylor Swift fans can attest to … not being able to sleep because you’re scared to get tickets,” Kraft said.

Little did they know, it’d be a waiting game — and a long one. Some students, like journalism junior Jacob Seiler, had a friend who is not enrolled in classes keep an eye on the line all day.

The two coordinated through the day, with Seiler FaceTiming them between each of his classes for a status update.

“It was very hard to focus on classes because I kept seeing all these tweets on my timeline of other people trying to buy tickets, and they were getting kicked out of line for no reason,” Seiler said.

Seiler's friend was in line until 2:30 p.m., five hours after joining the queue, but was still able to successfully buy five tickets for their group.

“I was very glad I was not in the room with them,” Seiler said. “I think I would just have to entertain further spirals.”

Communications freshman Emma Smith also gained access at 2:30 p.m., but she was in the middle of a lecture. She skipped her 10:20 a.m. class to remain in the queue, a process which she called “torture.” Ultimately, she Ubered to a later class because she did not want to walk with her laptop out and lose connection while in line for tickets.

Her dedication paid off – she was able to purchase floor tickets for Swift’s show in Massachusetts, Smith’s home state.

Many fans waited upwards of four treacherous hours, only to find most of the pit or lower bowl tickets were already purchased. Mechanical engineering sophomore Claire Jacka was booted from the queue twice, only to finally receive access to nosebleed seats at 3:30 p.m.

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Jacka hasn't seen Swift live, but she’s heard from other people that there’s not a bad seat in the house.

“Her show is very big,” Jacka said. “Fireworks, lots of backup dancers, lots of everything going on all at once.”

Kraft scored upper bowl tickets but is not worried about its impact on the show.

“She caters to everyone,” Kraft said. “A lot of the time, she’ll have a crane to go around to the upper bowl to make sure all her fans get a chance to see her.”

While she may not have scored floor tickets, Brey, president of MSU's Taylor Swift Club, said she’s just happy to be going.

“I don’t know if you can imagine being in a group chat with 150 Swifties while Taylor tickets are going out, but it is wild,” Brey said. “There are a bunch of people who didn’t get them, so I’m just grateful to have them.”

Don’t Blame Me: Ticketmaster addresses the chaos

Ticketmaster put some fans on their vigilante you-know-what. The ticket sales giant released a statement yesterday citing “historically unprecedented demand” for the tour, with millions logging on to purchase tickets.

“This is The Eras Tour,” Brey said. “I imagine if it was just a tour for one album, it probably wouldn’t be as high-demand, but it is an accumulation.”

Since tickets were only accessible with a presale code, Seiler said it was frustrating that Ticketmaster claimed to not expect the demand – especially since they distributed a high number of codes.

“She could perform on Mars and people would still show up,” Seiler said.

Brey and her parents registered for presale access, Her dad got access 10 minutes before her mom, but in the time it would take for someone to listen to the extended cut of “All Too Well,” Brey said most of the tickets were gone.

Brey’s dad got access 10 minutes before her mom, but in the time it would take for someone to listen to the extended cut of “All Too Well,” Brey said most of the tickets were gone.

“I just think it’s silly that Ticketmaster was like, ‘We weren’t expecting this level of people,’ when they sent out the emails,” Brey said.

But there’s no bad blood. Some fans said they’re unsure if Ticketmaster would've been able to plan accordingly, just because of Swift’s superstardom.

“With the amount of fans she has, and with how large this tour is, I think it’s difficult to even prepare for that,” Smith said.

The Eras Tour kicks off March 17, 2023, and Swift will come to Ford Field on June 9-10, 2023. Additional presales are expected to kick off today.

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