The Taylor Swift presale ticket event raises frustration among fans


Tribune News Service

Taylor Swift performs onstage during NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards at Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Terry Wyatt/TNS.

Dhaanya Balaji, Associate Design Editor

Taylor Swift fans have been excited for her Eras Tour from March of 2023 to August 2023 throughout the United States. She is performing her new album, Midnights, along with songs from her previous albums, as she has not gone on tour since 2018. The set list has not been released yet, which excites fans, including students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, even more to see what the tour brings.

Fans were told to get on their laptops from Nov. 1 through Nov. 9 to apply for the presale tickets, as the regular sale was later canceled. Taylor Swift fans were able to qualify for presale through their Capital One credit or debit cards or sign up for public presale.

A few days after registration, customers who got selected for the presale would get an email with a link that was texted to their phone number to go into the waiting room to purchase tickets. If an email was not received with the code, a different email was received saying that the customer was on the wait list.

On Nov. 15, presale qualifiers went to the Taylor Swift website to select their desired seating. Capital One presale qualifiers then used the first six digits of their Capital One cards as the presale codes and were in the queue. Fans were able to purchase up to six tickets with the presale code and could check out with their Capital One card. Ticket sales started around $49 and have gone up to thousands of dollars.

“However, if you had tickets or presale for her most recent show called LoverFest that got canceled due to the pandemic, or you had bought a vinyl off her store when her new album, Midnights, was released, you received a boost in your chances of receiving a presale code,” senior Ashlyn Watson said.

The link sent to the customer’s phone number was used to open the waiting room, which could be opened 30 minutes before tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Although there was excitement at the hope of getting tickets, there was also frustration by fans. Students went out of their way to secure tickets due to the mass amounts of people planning to purchase, some even staying home. Many students were unhappy with the Ticketmaster website.

“I had my laptop on and connected to WiFi the entire time, I even walked from class to class with my laptop in my hand,” junior Isha Patel said.

Technical difficulties with Ticketmaster caused even more frustration as students and fans were being kicked out of the queue due to the fact that all the shows for all locations opened at the same time, which caused heavy traffic on the website. This caused students and fans to continuously have to re-enter the website to get their tickets due to the amount of crashes and how slow the line was.

“At 1 p.m. the site crashed multiple times, but I was finally able to get to the screen to pick tickets after waiting 40 minutes in the new queue,” Patel said.

The problem got worse as students continued to try and purchase tickets the whole day and some were even kicked out while paying. Additionally, students had issues with Ticketmaster sending these presale codes in general.

“Ticketmaster sent out way too many presale codes in the first place. Presale is supposed to be a limited sale where ticket buyers can have an easier and smoother time when buying tickets for an event,” Watson said.

She also mentioned that she thinks Ticketmaster needs to fix their website as many faced difficulties like presale codes not functioning, crashes and customers being unable to purchase tickets after selecting seats.

“What would be great is if they kept half of the selection of general admission slots open just in case the people who didn’t get selected for presale have a chance to get tickets,” freshman Samara Murad said.

Many students believe that this could have been prevented. They believed that Ticketmaster could have done something to fix the situation.

“Ticketmaster could have easily avoided the crashing situation by administering tickets on different dates, rather than having them all sell on the same date,” Patel said.

With different shows on different days of sale, not as many people would have been on the website. This would have put the crashes and websites logging users out as well as the website making mistakes, to a minimum.

Ticketmaster took to Twitter on Nov. 18 in a tweet addressing the situation although many fans are still upset and have replied to the tweet with their thoughts. Along with calling Ticketmaster out, many fans posted their thoughts about how the whole ticket situation was upsetting.

Taylor Swift herself posted on her Instagram story a lengthy message stating how she was annoyed with how much difficulties people faced to attend her concert.

“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them,” Taylor Swift said on her Instagram story.

She then mentioned how she hopes that in the future for those who did not get tickets, that there will be a way for them all to “get together and sing these songs.”

Overall, students were very upset with the whole situation and felt that many changes could have been done to avoid this many complications. Students and fans felt as though, less presale codes and sales throughout the week would have been better to prevent the difficulties with the website.