Midnights Mayhem

Samantha Freehling, Editor-in-Chief

Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour created an unparalleled amount of traffic for Ticketmaster. (Wikimedia)

Announced at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, “Midnights” marks Taylor Swift’s first body of new work since her 2020 album, “Evermore.” Swift describes her new record as the story of “13 sleepless nights” and develops a clear theme of reflection across each track. 

The album stays true to Swift’s infamous use of storytelling and includes a motif of internalized conflict. Taylor is no stranger to experimentation, jumping between genres and applying various themes to her songs, yet “Midnights” is exclusively pop-oriented. Similar to her album, “1989,” Swift belts out her lyrics with a familiar and distinctive voice, one with attitude and bright timbre. 

On November 1st, Swift publicized the album’s corresponding U.S. stadium tour. Opening acts include Paramore, Haim, Phoebe Bridgers, Beabadoobee, Girl in Red, Muna, Gayle, Gracie Abrams and Owenn. Like many other artists, Taylor Swift decided to cancel her tours during the pandemic. Since the beginning of COVID-19, Swift has released four new albums and two re-recordings. She decided to make up for her missed tours by showcasing every record she released during her career, creating the “Eras” tour.

To acquire tickets, Swifties applied for Verified Fan presale codes, which was put in place to prevent ticket scalping. They were given their codes the night before the presale began and some even received a “boost” in line for purchasing merchandise off of Taylor’s website throughout the years. Without a code, fans would have to wait for the general public sale, limiting their chances at snagging tickets. In order to select tickets, fans had to wait behind millions in a queue for multiple hours. One major problem with the sale was that buyers didn’t need a Verified Fan code to wait in the queue, causing an unprecedented amount of traffic of nearly 14 million people.  

It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”

— Taylor Swift

The real challenge began when buyers got through the line, finally given access to tickets. Fans reported multiple problems with the Ticketmaster website, kicking people to the back of the line after they had already waited and preventing people from finalizing their purchases due to spontaneous “errors”. After the chaotic presale, many were left to use the general public sale for their tickets. Shockingly, Ticketmaster released a statement expressing that they canceled sale to the general public due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” A large amount of tickets fell into the hands of resellers, racking up prices up to $38,500 per unit. 

“As soon as Taylor Swift announced her tour I knew I needed to get tickets. I was able to participate in the presale, but was unable to get tickets because I was stuck in the queue the entire time. They should have required the presale code before allowing entrance to the queue, so it wouldn’t have taken so long to get through the line.” Heta Patel, a loyal Swiftie, says. 

People sacrificed their time, money, and sanity for the chance to get “Eras” tour tickets, but the vast majority were left unsuccessful and crestfallen. 

“I have been a fan of Taylor for most of my life and she has really struck a chord in my heart from all her wonderful lyricism. I even canceled a trip to France thinking that I would be able to attend her concert,” Jamie Caracas, a frustrated fan, said, “I waited for a good 2-3 hours before finally getting past the 2000+ line of other fans trying to get tickets. I saw one last ticket available in the nosebleeds, but watched as the seat turned gray, indicating that it was taken.”

Fans are disappointed with the outcome of the ticket sales, but many hope that this Ticketmaster fiasco will lead to smoother and more accessible ticket sales for the future.

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