If you have a Swiftie in your life, I would encourage you to perform a wellness check. Tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour went on presale today, and the whole thing is a mess. The Ticketmaster website is crashing, people’s Verified Fan presale codes aren’t working, and some of us were rudely relegated to “waitlist” status because we didn’t want to buy three remixes of “Anti-Hero.” It’s a war out there, and only the soldiers with the strongest cell service are going to survive.
To start at the beginning, Swift announced the Eras Tour two weeks ago. At the time, it was going to be 27 dates across the U.S., with international dates to be announced later. Then she added eight shows, then she added 17 shows, and now the U.S. leg of the world tour has 52 dates. Swift is touring stadiums, which usually have a capacity of around 80,000 people; if we do some quick math that should mean that there are around 4 million tickets to go around. Should be fairly easy for anyone who wants one to get a ticket, right? Wrong!
A new genre of Swiftie TikToks soon emerged, wherein people would explain exactly how to use the popular website Ticketmaster.com. “Whatever you do, don’t refresh the page,” someone would say. Then another person would say that you actually should refresh the page but not when you’re in the queue. Hacks were shared, tips were traded, and the tenor of SwiftTok was akin to being on a boat en route to Normandy in 1944.
Only people with Verified Fan status could buy tickets today, and not even all of the Verified Fans got access to presale codes. So how were some people deemed more Verified than others? Well, according to some fan theories, if you bought one or all of the four different “Anti-Hero” remixes from Swift’s website, your number moved higher up the list. If not, you received the same email I did, which claimed that due to “historic demand” you had been placed on the waitlist. Basically, you were shit outta luck if you didn’t want to own an MP3 in which Jack Antonoff sings “Sometimes I feel like everybody is an art bro lately.”
Today, in what can only be described as inevitable, the Ticketmaster website almost immediately crashed when tickets became available. When the website wasn’t crashing, people were in a queue with over 2,000 people ahead of them.
Like Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer before it, Ticketmaster is now an enemy to Swifties.
How could Ticketmaster have known this would be a nightmare? It’s not like they had another widely publicized Verified Fan debacle very recently which might have tipped them off to the fact that the system does not work and they’re going to need all hands on deck.
I’m kidding, Ticketmaster did have a royal fuck-up just a few months ago when Verified Fans tried to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets. They were greeted with “dynamic pricing,” a model that makes tickets more expensive based on demand, meaning that tickets to see The Boss were going for $5,000 a pop.
I don’t know anything about running the only major company through which people can buy concert tickets. But I do know a thing or two about Swifties, and the last thing I would ever want is to be on their bad side. If I were Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino I would be sleeping with one eye open for the foreseeable future, lest I be doxxed, hexed, and the victim of cyberbullying so furious that I need to flee to a foreign country.