When tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour went on sale Tuesday (November 15), the demand was so high even the world’s biggest ticketing platform couldn’t handle it. Millions of Swifties swarmed to Ticketmaster, causing the site’s servers to crash.
Now, the company has cancelled the tour’s general sale, originally scheduled for this Friday. “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,” the company tweeted at 3 p.m. EST.
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.— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022
The fiasco has already caused sweeping backlash across Swift’s famously bloodthirsty fanbase and turned some surprisingly serious heads. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), well-known members of the progressive congressional contingent colloquially known as “The Squad,” both used the opportunity to remind the American public of their objections to Ticketmaster’s 2010 merger with Live Nation.
“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s [sic] merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in,” AOC tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Break them up.”
Omar quote-tweeted an October post from the non-profit news organization More Perfect Union criticizing TM’s exorbitant fees. “Break up Ticketmaster,” she added.
Earlier today, CNBC posted a clip of a conversation between reporter David Faber and Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media, a mass media conglomerate with ownership stakes in Live Nation (and, therefore, Ticketmaster), as well as Formula One, SiriusXM, and the Atlanta Braves, among many other large corporations. In the interview, Maffei defends TM’s handling of Taylor Swift’s ticket sales, emphasizing the unprecedented numbers of fans who flocked to the site as soon as the link went live.
Read a direct quote from Maffei, previously transcribed by Stereogum, and watch the full video below.
The reality is it’s a function of the massive demand that Taylor Swift has. The site was supposed to be opened up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site — including bots, another story, which are not supposed to be there — and despite all the challenges and the breakdowns, we did sell over 2 million tickets that day. We could’ve filled 900 stadiums. And the reality is this is not actually a Live Nation-promoted concert. Taylor Swift is promoted by one of our largest competitors. So though AOC may not like every element of our business, interestingly AEG — our competitor, who is the promoter for Taylor Swift — chose to use us because we are, in reality, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world. Even our competitors want to come on our platform.
On November 17 at 3:15 p.m. EST, this post was updated to reflect Ticketmaster’s announcement. Its original headline read: “Live Nation CEO pushes back on criticism of Taylor Swift ticket sales.”