A group of 26 Taylor Swift fans filed a lawsuit in California on Friday (December 2), against Ticketmaster’s parent company. The suit states the company had engaged in anticompetitive conduct and fraud after their disastrous roll out of tickets to Swift’s upcoming Era’s tour.
The glitch-filled sale of tickets left thousands of eager fans empty handed and unhappy. Due to the high demand of presale tickets to Ms Swift’s 52 show tour, set to begin in March 2023, the company cancelled the general sale of tickets saying: “Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.”
They also said the site had faced a “staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes” which resulted in 3.5 billion system requests, four times its previous peak. It said that more than two million tickets for the tour were sold on November 15, which is the most for an artist in a single day.
The tour has been under development for a number of months with the Financial Times reporting Swift had previously been in negotiations with Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto group FTX for a sponsorship deal on the tour. It’s since been confirmed that FTX had been willing to pay £100 million for the deal that collapsed in November.
The discussions included a ticketing arrangement with digital certificates known as non-fungible tokens from the record-breaking “Anti Hero” singer-songwriter, according to people familiar with the matter.
So, what are the grounds in which Swifties are suing Ticketmaster? Here’s what we know so far.
Why are Taylor Swift fans suing Ticketmaster?
This withdrawal of the public sale resulted in outcry from fans and prompted calls from lawmakers to break up the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Now fans have filed the 33 page complaint in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County.
A lawyer representing the fans, Jennifer Kinder, spoke on the suit saying: “Hundreds of thousands of people waited from four to eight hours and never got an opportunity to buy tickets, so they just want the system to change,”
Kinder, who said she and her 11-year-old daughter were Swift fans, added: “It has to be made fair. This is not a fair market. This is not supply and demand. This is a manipulated market that benefits Ticketmaster.”
Ticketmaster apologised in November to Swift fans for the problems with its ticket sales for the Eras Tour, with Live Nation chairman Greg Maffei saying in an interview with CNBC that the company could’ve filled ‘900 stadiums’ with the demand for tickets. He added: “The reality is, Taylor Swift hasn’t been on the road for three or four years, and that’s caused a huge issue.”
What has Taylor Swift said?
Taylor Swift has not responded to the lawsuit from fans but did release a statement in response to the way Ticketmaster handled the sale in a statement via her Instagram stories last month.
She said: “Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans. We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house.
“I’ve done this Specifically to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. It’s really difficult to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.
“There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could hand this kind of demand and we were assured they could. 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.”
She finished up the social media message by saying: “And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.”