Senators quoted the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s songs at a hearing devoted to analyzing issues related to the singer and songwriter’s sale of tickets for her upcoming “Eras Tour”.
Tickets for the tour went on sale in November, and thousands of fans reported long wait times, website outages, and overpriced resale sites (including Ticketmaster’s own website). The ticket company later admitted that before canceling the general sale, it faced “historically unprecedented demand” from Swift fans.
After the tickets were sold, Swift’s own fans launched their own campaigns against Ticketmaster, and about three dozen launched an initiative called Vigilante Legal. A class action lawsuit was also filed against Ticketmaster, in which the plaintiffs accused the company of violating two laws — the California Cartwright Act and the California Unfair Competition Act — during the first pre-sale of Verified Fan.
The two U.S. senators also called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to answer for the “steps” it is taking to “combat the use and operation of bots in the online ticket market.”
— Gabe Kanae (@GabeKanae) January 24, 2023
.@SenBlumenthal: "Ticketmaster had the temerity to imply that the debacle involved in pre-ticket sales was Taylor Swift's fault because she was failing to do too many concerts. May I suggest…Ticketmaster outta look in the mirror and say, 'I'm the problem. It's me.'" pic.twitter.com/F8HDmsu0Tk
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2023
Speaking yesterday (January 24) before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the hearing “This is the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in the Field of live entertainment,” a number of senators mentioned the 11-time Grammy winner during their statements, which you can read. higher.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was one of the two senators who convened the hearing, quoted Swift’s “All too well” in her opening statement. “To have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation — something that, unfortunately for this country, as an ode to Taylor Swift, I will say, we know too well,” she said.
Senator Richard Blumenthal added, “Ticketmaster should look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s Me,’ referring to Swift’s hit single ‘Anti-Hero’ from her recent album ‘Midnights,’ while Senator Mike Lee also made a lyrical reference to the track ‘Karma,’ ending your remark in words: “Out of respect for my daughter Eliza, I have to throw out another Taylor Swift quote: “Karma is a relaxing thought, don’t you envy her?”
In a preliminary statement, Ticketmaster blamed the cyberattack for problems related to ticket sales.
Joe Berchtold, president of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, said “valuable lessons” had been learned from the sale.
He apologized “to many disappointed fans as well as to Ms. Swift” for what he said was a “terrible consumer experience,” adding, “Looking back, we could have done a few things better.
Explaining the situation, Berchtold added: “We knew that bots would attack… and planned it accordingly. Then we got three times more traffic from bots than we had ever experienced, and for the first time in 400 Verified Fan sales, they came after our Verified Fan access code servers.
“Although the bots were unable to get into our systems or get any tickets, the attack required us to slow down and even suspend sales. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience, which we deeply regret.”
Last month, Ticketmaster said it still had 170,000 tickets for the tour after canceling the general sale. According to Billboard, Ticketmaster distributed the remaining tickets for the next four weeks through Ticketstoday, which was originally created in the early 2000s for members of the Dave Matthews Band fan club to purchase tickets. It was acquired by Live Nation in 2008 and now “manages the Ticketmaster Verified Fan Request platform.”
The North American leg of Swift’s “Eras” tour will begin in Glendale, Arizona, in March and will last until August, with a total of 52 concerts on the route with special guests, including Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Girl In Red., MUNA, Haim and others.