BERKELEY, Calif. - A lot of Taylor Swift fans have been left frustrated and disappointed after waiting hours in an online queue to get tickets, just to come up empty-handed.
Ticketmaster canceled public sales for the pop star’s "Eras tour" which includes two Bay Area shows.
Fans described a nightmare scenario trying to secure tickets. Some said access codes didn’t work, they ran into error boxes, and waited for hours in virtual queues behind thousands of other fans.
"It was a debacle getting tickets, that’s for sure," said Jacquelyn Armus, a freshman at UC Berkeley. Armus and her roommate Beth Wade said they spent two days trying to buy tickets to the show at Levi’s stadium in July.
"There was multiple service errors, it was very long queues," said Wade.
The excitement over the pop star’s first tour in five years quickly turned into frustration for Armus and Wade. Armus said she registered for the presale. "I initially got a service error and the website wasn’t working. And then I eventually was able to go into the lobby before entering the waiting room and then it kicked me out of the lobby. Then it was just the reloading and reloading constantly just trying to get on."
Armus said she spent eight hours refreshing her screen and waiting. But still, she was not able to snag a seat. Adding insult to injury, resale tickets on stub hub are going for thousands of dollars.
"We went into Stubhub and they were being resold there. Some were $6,000 and compared to the original price of $300 or $400 it is a bit absurd," said Wade.
Wade and Armus aren’t alone. A swarm of "Swifties" have reported presale codes not working and the Ticketmaster site crashing.
Ticketmaster blamed the tech issues on overwhelming demand after millions pre-registered. The company then canceled general public sales because there’s not enough inventory.
"There’s so much demand for this and there’s only one Taylor Swift," said Ian Sherr of CNET.
Sherr said Ticketmaster and Live Nation – which merged 12 years ago - control roughly 70% of ticket sales for live events. "Particularly this is an example of what happens when you don’t have a lot of competition right? Service fees, which a lot of people were frustrated with because what are service fees paying for if the website is not working? And then also the idea they have to go through Ticketmaster. There’s no alternatives out there other than to pay thousands of dollars on top of the normal ticket price," said Sherr.
At least one state is taking a deeper look at what happened. Tennessee’s attorney general announced a consumer protection team will investigate if any laws were broken.
Taylor’s fans tell me despite the headache, there’s no bad blood. "I’ve been a fan throughout all the eras, all the albums," said Wade.
"I mean I have loved Taylor Swift my whole life, so I was really hoping I would get tickets," said Armus.