Taylor Swift announced her return to the stage four years after her last tour and Jacob Landry was eager to secure a precious concert seat. But after successfully registering and getting a pre-sale code, it was met with an endless wait, bugs and skyrocketing prices.
The case of Jacob Landry is not isolated. Thousands of Internet users have shared similar experiences on social networks. Kathryn Berry said lived thirteen hours of ordeal before obtaining places with poor visibility for the concert of the star planned in Nashville. The U.S. ticket sales industry, dominated by the giant Ticketmaster, has fueled frustration among music lovers for years, not least because of hidden fees and skyrocketing prices.
Places between 2,000 and 9,000 dollars
Ticketing sites linked to Ticketmaster reported outages, service disruptions and other issues after massive logins by Taylor Swift fans, many of whom were ultimately unable to secure tickets, even though they had received presale codes.
Cody Rhodes, 23, told AFP he plans to try his luck again when main sales open on Friday, adding he’s willing to shell out up to $400 a ticket to see his idol in concert. “It’s really a lot of money for us, but we’re big fans and we’ve waited so long,” he said, adding that some dealers were already asking between $2,000 and $9,000 for the type of seats. that he covets.
“Ticketmaster is a money-hungry service that has little or no regard for true fans. I think they will let prices move with supply and demand as it allows them to take advantage of situations like this,” he explained.
“Raise prices and stifle competition”
In a statement released Tuesday, Ticketmaster asked fans to hold off, citing “historically high demand” which is in the millions. The company also pushed back one of the one-day presales.
The situation prompted reactions from several US lawmakers, including Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Richard Blumenthal, who called for an immediate investigation into “the state of competition in the ticketing industry. In 2010, Ticketmaster and entertainment giant Live Nation merged in what lawmaker David Cicilline called Tuesday a “monopoly out of control.”
He and other lawmakers in 2021 called on the US Department of Justice to investigate “Live Nation’s efforts to drive up prices and stifle competition.”
The Boss and the outcry
“Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment have a monopoly on the industry that allows them to regularly abuse their power, leaving customers, artists and venues at their mercy,” said Krista Brown, analyst member of the NGO American Economic Liberties Project.
But as fans complain about skyrocketing outlays – rock legend Bruce Springsteen’s concert prices, which run into the thousands, caused an outcry earlier this year – Ticketmaster blamed it on the ticket resale market. “With the ticket resale market having grown to more than $10 billion in recent years, artists and crews have lost that revenue to resellers,” Ticketmaster said, adding that event organizers are trying to “recover these lost revenues” by “aligning with market prices”