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Ticketmaster vs. Swifties and United States Congress

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By: Madeline Bates

“I’m the problem, it’s me” is a Taylor Swift lyric made famous in her new song, Anti-Hero and was quoted by Connecticut Rep. Richard Blumenthal on the floor of the United States Senate. The catchy phrase was said in a hearing with the Judiciary committee over the hardship fans had when trying to purchase tickets to Swifts upcoming Era’s World Tour.

According to NPR, online ticket holder Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation 13 years ago to create a monopoly, as some would argue. Issues came about when the online market had to cancel the general sale of Swift’s tour after selling over 2 million tickets in presale. The verified presale was given to certain fans who had previously purchased tickets to a show of Swifts or if they held a Capital One credit card. To mitigate this, Swift added thirty shows to the tour to accommodate for the popularity she had gained since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hearing was held Tuesday in the U.S. Capitol. While Swift was not in attendance, her songs were recited by Republicans and Democrats alike. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota referred to the problem as one the United States knew All Too Well, referring to one of Swift’s most popular songs that was originally released in 2012. Swift re-released the song in 2021 as a 10-minute track, along with a video written and directed by the singer herself.

Is it mockery? Or was the Senate trying to have some fun? Swift fans or, ‘Swifties’, were outraged when Ticketmaster canceled the general sale after the site had claimed there was insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet the demand, following the verified presale. In response, Swift made a statement on Instagram thanking her fans for their support and patience, but that it also “pisses her off” to see them go through “several bear attacks” to get tickets. Swift has now sold over 2.4 million tickets and is one of the longest-reigning artists on the Billboard Top 100.

Fans looking for a bargain won’t be The Lucky Ones. Ticket resale sites such as StubHub and SeatGeek had tickets priced at over $1,400 in the general admission pit for the show in Las Vegas. For Swifties on a budget, many far-section seats start at $300; not including taxes and fees. With the tour beginning in mid-March, many fans are finalizing their travel plans and are still on the hunt for resale tickets.

The debacle is gaining even more ground since Beyonce announced her upcoming world tour. The public’s heightened interest in the situation, and the close eye congress has had on Ticketmaster will be even more intense as tickets go on sale for that. Demand for Beyonce’s tour is said to be equal, or even higher than that of Ms. Swift.

Along with that, Swift is set to kick off her tour in Glendale this March. Audiences are waiting to see if the orginial issue regarding her rollout will factor in to the tour itself.

As for the general status of Ticketmaster, Congress has yet to decide if the merger is a monopoly and is still discussing the process of moving forward.

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