Ticketmaster, Live Nation & Taylor Swift

Ticketmaster, Live Nation & Taylor Swift

Given how poorly the initial offering of tickets for Taylor Swift's upcoming "Eras" tour was handled by Ticketmaster, it may be no surprise to learn that the artist has publicly come out against Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which merged in 2010 under the name Live Nation Entertainment. Live Nation has already been at the center of scrutiny due to its control of venues and ticket sales, which create a monopoly on tickets for shows across the country. But this time the controversy is different as passionate fans aren't ones to stay quiet when they're restricted from seeing their favorite artist.

Some Fans Waited 8 Hours for Nothing

According to the artist, the demand for the upcoming tour was known and verified with Ticketmaster to ensure the company's systems could handle the demand. While Swift was excited to see that over 2 million fans got tickets on the first day of sales, there was concern about the hoops they had to jump through to get them. From being kicked out of the queue to payments not processing and booting users back in line, every party involved was facing difficulties.

The presale was meant to be for verified fans only, a tactic that was used to reduce the number of requests from bots and ticket resellers. The exclusivity seems to have had the opposite effect, though, as the world-famous pop star's tour had 3.5 billion requests, significantly higher than the 1.5 million invited users. The fiasco led lawmakers to look closer at the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation due to how poorly it handled the ticketing process.

It’s Not Just Lawmakers Up in Arms

Taylor Swift fans who endured the chaos of the presale have joined forces to draft and deliver a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation through the L.A. County Superior Court. The lawsuit covers the technical issues that led to potentially millions of fans missing out on tickets, and it brings into the spotlight that Ticketmaster touted the presale as only for invited guests while still allowing bots and scalpers to access the tickets.

The lawsuit also alleges that Ticketmaster sent invitations to 1.4 million verified fans with a ticket limit of six per account, all while knowing they didn't have enough tickets to meet the demand they were creating. All this coupled with the fact that non-verified fans were also given access, and you can see why the company is in hot water. The merger gave Live Nation almost total control over the ticketing market, but that responsibility may be proving to be too much to handle alone.

Taylor Swift fans

The Future of Ticket Venues

With Swift already publicly talking about finding alternative options for ticketing her tours, and the Department of Justice taking an interest in the company, Live Nation and Ticketmaster may soon experience competition as fans and artists alike search for a better partnership. Live Nation has been under investigation by antitrust lawyers and lawmakers prior to the "Eras" tour issues, but the newest concerns have fanned the flames.

Perhaps this will be the last straw and a breakup of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, or a new company will fill the void with a more consumer-friendly ticketing platform. Live Nation may own some of the largest venues in the country, but current rules state that concerts can't be denied if an artist decides to use a company other than Ticketmaster. Next comes the waiting game as the investigation unfolds.

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