'Unprecedented' demand for Taylor Swift tour crashes Ticketmaster website
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Millions of Taylor Swift fans swarmed Live Nation's Ticketmaster LYV.N website on Tuesday to try to score seats for her first tour in five years, causing periodic outages and long online waits that often ended in disappointment.
The ticket-selling site told fans on Tuesday morning, via a statement on Twitter, that it was experiencing "intermittent issues" that the company was "urgently" working to resolve.
Later, Ticketmaster tweeted that there had been "historically unprecedented demand" for Swift's "The Eras Tour," her first since 2018, from millions of people. Ticket sales for West Coast shows were delayed by three hours.
Fans reported waiting in online queues for up to eight hours, and many finding they were too late to purchase tickets, which cost between $49 and $449 each.
"I'm a failure as a father," wrote Dave Pell, author of the popular NextDraft .
"The one time my daughter really me to come through for her, I ended up on the outside looking in, banished to the barren badlands of the Taylor Swift ticket waiting list wasteland," he said.
Other Swifties, the for Swift's fans, said they were repeatedly dropped from queues and turned their ire toward Ticketmaster. Some said they took a day off work and felt the process should have gone more smoothly.
A Democratic U.S. lawmaker also criticized the company.
"@Ticketmaster's excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today's @taylorswift13 tickets," Rep. David Cicilline wrote on Twitter.
He added that the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which had Justice Department approval, should have been allowed. "It’s secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly," he said.
Cicilline, who chairs the House of Representatives antitrust panel, called on the Justice Department to investigate. The agency declined to comment.
The ticketing industry has frustrated Americans for years with hidden fees, limited ticket availability because of pre-sales, and other irritations.
Hundreds of thousands of people did grab tickets to the U.S. stadium tour, Ticketmaster said. Another presale, for Capital One credit card holders, was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Swift released her latest album, the pop record "Midnights," in October. She has promised hits from albums spanning her career on the "Eras" tour, which is scheduled to start in March 2023 and end in Los Angeles in August 2023.
Some buyers already were looking to cash in on the fervor. Resale sites such as Stubhub were offering seats on Tuesday afternoon for as much as $18,000 each.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Additional reporting by Danielle Broadway in Los Angeles and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Aurora Ellis)