- Taylor Swift fans were devastated after Ticketmaster canceled the general sale for her tour.
- Ticketless “Swifties” told Insider that they hoped Taylor would address the situation.
- “If Taylor doesn’t make any statement,” one fan said, “I wouldn’t be shocked if people boycotted.”
Danielle Harrington, 24, had made careful preparations for the coming storm.
A lifelong “Swiftie,” Harrington had previously attended every prior Taylor Swift tour and was adamant about keeping her streak intact.
“I’ve been a fan since I was eight years old when ‘Teardrops [on my Guitar]’ was released,” Harrington told Insider. “I saw her through the trenches of 2016 and I’ve just always been a fan.”
When the pop icon announced her upcoming return to the stage with the Eras Tour, Harrington said she was “floored.” Not only would she get to see her favorite musician live for the first time in five years, but one of Swift’s East Coast concerts coincided with Harrington’s 25th birthday. It would be “the best day ever,” she said.
Harrington quickly got to work ensuring she could secure her coveted tickets. She employed more than 15 friends and family members to sign up for Ticketmaster’s verified fan presale on her behalf in an effort to score early tickets.
When no one in the bunch got a code, she moved on to Plan B. Harrington would participate in the next presale opportunity exclusively for Capital One credit card holders — a group she counted herself among after signing up for a Capital One credit card solely on Swift’s endorsement.
Even when the chaos of the Capital One presale once again foiled her ticket-buying plans, Harrington still did not worry. She would buy her tickets with the rest of the public on Friday when the general sale began.
But Harrington’s dreams came to a screeching halt on Thursday afternoon when Ticketmaster announced that it was canceling the general ticket sale for the Eras Tour scheduled to begin Friday due to “extraordinarily high demands” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory,” sending scores of Swifties into panic and despair.
“There was some sobbing on the floor,” Harrington told Insider about her initial response to the news. “It’s just really disappointing and it’s sad. I think there’s so many people in this same position that I’m in.”
Insider spoke to four Swifties who remain ticketless about the frustration they’re feeling in the aftermath of this week’s Ticketmaster chaos. The fans told Insider that they were ready to work hard and pay up to secure their tickets but they were ultimately surprised by the sheer level of pandemonium in the process.
Swift’s reps did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement shared on Ticketmaster’s website, the company said Swift’s tour sold more than 2 million tickets during the verified-fan presale alone, more than any artist in a single day.
Mounting demand to see the popstar
Emily Woodward, a 29-year-old graduate student in Austin, Texas, also told Insider her plans to buy tickets were thwarted multiple times. After applying for presale — which in itself she described as a stressful process — but not being selected, Woodward watched as the chaos unfolded this week.
She saw some tickets being resold on StubHub for fairly reasonable prices and considered grabbing them, but decided to hold off until the general sale, which was set for Friday. Then the news came that the general sale was canceled altogether.
When the tour was first announced, Woodward, who said she’s been a fan since she was 14 and has analyzed every lyric, thought to herself: “I have to go. I’m going to find a way to be there.”
She said because Swift hasn’t toured since 2018 — in part because of the pandemic — a lot of fans have a sense the popstar will take another long break in touring after this one, adding to the urgency of wanting to be there.
Woodward also noted the sheer quantity of music the prolific songwriter has put out since her last tour. Swift has released four albums since 2019, and fans are eager to see her play new songs as well as the old ones. She also feels like Folklore, the 2020 release that marked a new, more subdued sound for Swift, has broadened her audience even further, adding to the heightened demand for tickets.
While Woodward still considers herself a fan, she thinks Ticketmaster and artists like Swift could commit to more transparency and work harder to address ticket resellers.
“I really wish that the process was more transparent in terms of how tickets were sold to fans, and I wish artists would communicate more about what they’re doing to make tickets more affordable and get them in the hands of actual fans,” she said.
Abigail Maimone, 23, also did her preparation. A longtime fan, Maimone was among the millions of Swifties who registered for the verified fan presale in the days ahead of the sale, but never got a code. She, too, came up empty in the Capital One presale, and like Harrington, had pinned her luck on buying tickets in the Friday general sale.
“I tried to do what felt like necessary preparation, but in hindsight, it wasn’t enough,” she told Insider. “I thought people were being a little excessive in how prepared they were.”
Caroline Bellamy, 22, said she was “shocked” when she learned about the canceled general sale.
“That seems illegal,” she told Insider. “I really hope someone sues Ticketmaster.”
The debacle has managed to garner high-power attention from the likes of Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti who said Wednesday that he’s probing the presale meltdown and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who encouraged disappointed fans to petition the Justice Department to break up the “Ticketmaster monopoly.”
Maimone, who initially had grand plans to see three different Swift shows in separate cities, will now be lucky if she can manage to secure even one affordable ticket.
Predictable price-gouging on resale sites already has Taylor tickets listed for as much as $13,000 in certain cities, with average prices in the $1,000s.
And while Harrington said she’s unlikely to be able to afford anything beyond $400 on her teacher’s salary, her determination to see Swift has not been dimmed by the week’s setbacks.
“I will do anything I can to get tickets,” she told Insider.
Silence from Swift
Swifties have declared war on Ticketmaster in the aftermath of the Thursday announcement, threatening to metaphorically burn the conglomerate to the ground.
But a quieter resentment toward Taylor herself also seems to be bubbling up in the fandom.
“I would hope she makes some kind of statement just about the horrendous mishandling, whether it’s on her management or Ticketmaster or whatever it may be,” Maimone said.
Harrington echoed her sentiments, saying that while she understands many of the logistics are likely out of Swift’s hands, she still wishes the singer would address her fans’ disappointment.
“I think acknowledging people’s feelings goes a really long way,” she said. “I’m waiting for her to just be like, ‘I am so sorry you didn’t get tickets.'”
Bellamy, meanwhile, predicted growing anger among the fan base should Swift stay silent.
“I think if Taylor doesn’t make any statement people will be very upset and I wouldn’t be shocked if people boycotted going,” she said.
The Swifties said they aren’t giving up hope on eventually scoring tickets but they’re waiting to see how Thursday’s drama ends up playing out.
“It has just been the most insane week,” Maimone said. “Concerts are about an experience, like one of the most joyful experiences, and I just feel like it shouldn’t be this stressful.”