Cruel Summer as Taylor Swift fans miss out on the Eras Tour while touts flog tickets for thousands
The Taylor Swift ticket debacle highlights the need for promoters to do more to protect fans from ticket touts
and live on Freeview channel 276
As a music fan, I know only too well how much effort it can take to stake your place at highly sought after events but recently the hurdles threatening to take you down at every stride, seem to have got that much higher.
You currently can’t move on social media for stories of disappointed Taylor Swift fans - many of whom are only children - who had been holding out hope of getting a ticket to one of the star’s 14 dates at arenas around the country next year.
Following a Ticketmaster debacle in the US, where hoards of fans clamouring for tickets crashed the website, over the pond in Blighty, Swifties had a much more complex system to navigate.
First up there was getting in on the presale which involved, back in December, either buying a copy of the album Midnights, or registering your email address for free.
Once the UK leg of the Eras tour was announced, fans then had to register again to get a unique code which would let them into a virtual ‘waiting room’ 30 minutes before the tickets went on sale.
Staggered presales went ahead at different times and days depending on which venue you were wanting to attend and which website you would be buying tickets from - Ticketmaster and AXS were each allocated a portion of the tour dates.
All of that happened ahead of the general ticket sale a few days later.
And that’s when it all kicked off. By this time, touts were already selling tickets at massively inflated prices - some going for around £3,500, and fans were complaining that even when attempting to purchase tickets direct from the official websites, after the presales, only the most expensive tickets were left, costing hundreds of pounds per seat.
And it’s not just fans of the Shake It Off singer who have felt stung when trying to buy tickets. Even the King’s Coronation Concert was stained with the disappointment of royalists who received an email from Ticketmaster leading them to believe they had been successful in the ticket ballot only to realise they had lost out in the online race to secure their place.
But, as a frequenter of the Glastonbury Festival, I've seen a better way - to beat the touts at least. Not only do you need to be registered in order to enter the sale, if successful your picture is printed on the ticket and you need to provide ID at the gate to prove you are that person. Not only that, but tickets are only sold through See Tickets and if for any reason you are unable to go to the event after all, the ticket is returned to the vendor and will be made available again in the April resale. The system has all but eliminated touts and it means, at least, the only people in the bun fight for a place at the event, are genuine festival-goers.
Perhaps it’s time all promoters were similarly rigorous when it comes to protecting fans from the unscrupulous ticket touts looking to make a quick buck off the back of adoring fans.
So, is the battle for tickets now taking the shine off these much-anticipated events? Well, for those who did manage to secure their seat on the Eras Tour, perhaps the adversity they faced getting there makes success all the sweeter, but for the not-so-lucky ones, it's going to feel like a Cruel Summer.