Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment following the presale crisis for her “The Eras Tour” 2023 last month. The plaintiffs have demanded Ticketmaster a $2,500 penalty for each violation of the Professions and Business Code, section 17200.
Following severe problems with the Taylor Swift: Eras Tour presale tickets, almost two dozen Swifties filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, accusing intentional deception.
The fans are suing the ticketing giant and its parent firm Live Nation for “price-fixing, fraud, and antitrust crimes,” claiming that “intentional deception” lets scalpers purchase most tickets. Although $2,500 per violation may not seem like much, considering the millions of people who tried to get tickets for Swift’s tour, it might add up to a hefty fine.
During the two-day disaster, which began on November 15, many fans who won presale codes from the Ticketmaster registration lottery went home empty-handed after hours of queuing up in online lines. Even those who made it to the final steps of the purchase process were unable to do so due to high-speed buyers, glitches, and “dynamic pricing,” which fans believe is Ticketmaster’s term for price gouging.
Before the scheduled public sale, Ticketmaster released tickets on November 15 through its Verified Fan program. It’s geared to sort out bots and asks potential ticket-buyers to register in advance and rank their preferred dates and cities.
According to Ticketmaster, more than 3.5 million people signed up for the program, and more than 2 million tickets were sold that day, handling over 3.5 billion system requests—four times the previous high. The company claimed the site was overloaded, targeted by a “staggering amount” of bots and followers who didn’t have invite codes.”
Finally, on November 18, Ticketmaster announced that it would not be holding the general sale scheduled after the presale “due to unusually high demands on ticketing systems and inadequate remaining ticket inventory to match that demand.” Later, Taylor Swift condemned the ticket seller in a statement posted on her Instagram stories, claiming not to “make excuses” for the company.
According to the lawsuit, “millions of fans waited up to eight hours but were unable to buy tickets due to insufficient ticket releases and other concerns comparable to the prior presale.” It asserts that Ticketmaster wasn’t ready for the sudden customer increase.
It also criticizes Ticketmaster for giving out presale codes to fans to buy tickets. According to the lawsuit, the business “purposefully and intentionally misled TaylorSwiftTix presale ticket holders by issuing codes to 1.4 million verified fans'” when it lacked enough seats for everyone.
The fans also seek a lawsuit against Ticketmaster for price discrimination, alleging that the company’s dynamic pricing policy “raises the ticket price as more tickets are selling.” According to the petition, this results in “radically different costs” for comparable tickets and “arbitrarily punishes the people who were unable to reach the head of the queue.”
In addition, they claim that Ticketmaster permitted the resale of tickets during the presale “as if the tickets were at face value agreed by Taylor Swift Management, while in fact, they were higher than the negotiated price.”
Fans are going to great lengths to get tickets to see Swift live in addition to this suit. For instance, a tattoo artist who went viral on TikTok promised to tattoo anyone’s sleeve for free in exchange for a ticket to the Eras tour. While others reluctantly bought tickets on resale websites for unbelievably higher costs.
With this latest lawsuit and a federal investigation against Ticketmaster, it’s clear that this is not a problem that people will simply brush off.