Well, Well, All Too Well: Taylor Swift has spoken out about the absolute nightmare Swifties experienced when trying to cop presale tickets to her US Eras tour. Ticketmaster found quaking.

There’s been a bunch of updates to this tale, but the TL;DR is that fans were left dealing with hours-long online queues, website crashes and more when trying to cop tickets during the presale. It was an absolute bloody mess.

Ticketmaster then cancelled the general ticket sale — which was supposed to be this Saturday — citing an “insufficient” remaining number of tickets.

So, let’s unpack.

What has Taylor Swift said about the situation?

Taylor Swift herself has now weighed in with a seething Instagram Story. Absolutely Fucking Fuming (Taylor’s Version).

Taylor started her statement by saying she was “extremely protective” of the Swifties, and basically said situations like this were the reason she’d brought so much of her career in house.

“I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do,” she said.

“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”

Taylor didn’t name any names in her statement, but she said she wouldn’t “make excuses for anyone”. Go off.

“We asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she wrote.

“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them”.

Taylor ended with a message to fans who didn’t get tickets, saying she hoped to provide “more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs”.

Taylor Swift Has Officially Broken Her Silence About The Absolute Chaos Of Her US Tour Presale
Roasted.

Has Ticketmaster responded?

Since Taylor’s post, Ticketmaster has released another statement. It acknowledged the “terrible” experience people had while purchasing tickets and apologised to both Taylor Swift and the Swifties.

Basically, the way people accessed presale tickets was through registering as something called a verified fan via Ticketmaster.

As reported by TIME, verified fans are supposed to get a notification which informs them if they’ll get access to a presale code or if they’ll be popped on a waitlist. It’s essentially designed to stop scalper bots getting their greedy little mitts on tickets.

Ticketmaster said 3.5 million people pre-registered as verified fans — a record-breaking number — and 1.5 million pre-sale codes were sent out. The company was selling tickets for 47 of Swift’s 52 US shows.

The company pointed to a few reasons why the sale was such a disaster: it said the site had experienced a “staggering” number of bot attacks during the sale and fans who didn’t have presale codes also tried to buy tickets.

This combo drove “unprecedented traffic” to the site and a whopping 3.5 billion total system requests.

According to Ticketmaster, “all two million tickets for the verified fans onsale were sold to verified fans” and less than five per cent of the tickets have been posted for resale or sold on secondary markets.

But Swifties online have slammed this, with verified fans frustrated that scalpers and bots were able to access tickets when they weren’t.

Despite fans waiting legit hours in online queues, a number of resale sites are already selling tickets at wildly marked up prices.

The ABC reported some resale sites were slinging tickets from prices of AU$500 (US$338) to AU$42,000 (US$28,350). $42,000 is like… a yearly salary. What the fuck.

What happened during the Eras presale?

According to Swifties, actually buying tickets in the presale was absolute chaos. They took to Twitter to vent their frustration at long wait times and site crashes.

Is there any experience more frustrating than waiting in line for a ticket queue only for the site to crash? I grow about six grey hairs every time I try and get concert tickets.

There was also a specific presale for people with Capital One credit cards — that presale was moved from Tuesday 15 November to Wednesday 16 to try and deal with the ticket demand.

The whole situation is giving big “Anti-Hero” energy.

Ticketmaster said there was a “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets and legit “millions” of people tried to access the presale in a statement on November 16.

Per SBS, a Ticketmaster spokesperson said the amount of people signed up for presale more than doubled the number of actual tickets available for purchase.

Other Swifties said there was a lack of accessible seating when they were finally able to secure tickets.

Author and activist Emily Ladau tweeted that she spent two hours in the queue only to find there were no more wheelchair accessible tickets available for her show.

According to Ladau, she called the company’s accessible ticket helpline only to be told it couldn’t sell accessible presale tickets over the phone.

“[The Ticketmaster employee] says I have to buy regular seats, show up to the venue and ask them to give me accessible seats because ‘they have to accomodate you by ADA law’,” she wrote.

“No sir. Ticketmaster has to sell me accessible tickets online like everyone else.”

She pointed out that according to the American Disabilities Act [ADA], venues actually have to sell tickets for accessible seats “in the same manner and under the same conditions as all other ticket sales”.

In the replies, someone else wrote they’d seen a user tweeting about “accidentally” buying an accesible seat online.

“It’s sickening that people bought those seats, it’s really making me question if I can support Taylor anymore,” they added.

In short, the whole thing sounds like an absolute mess. I send my condolences to all the Swifties who just want to cry to folklore live.

Politicians have weighed in on the presale drama

There’s some more important context here: Ticketmaster essentially has a monopoly on concert tickets in the US. It merged with Live Nation back in 2010.

So as well as fan ire, the situation has drawn criticism from US congresspeople.

Both Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and David Cilline tweeted criticism of Ticketmaster, calling out its merger with Live Nation.

According to Bloomberg, the Tennessee Attorney General is looking into the ticket drama after his office received complaints.

The New York Times has since reported the US Department of Justice is conducting an anti-trust investigation into Live Nation — though this inquiry predates the Taylor Swift presale. Live Nation said in a statement that it “takes its responsibilities under the anti-trust laws seriously and does not engage in behaviour that could justify antitrust litigation”.

Honestly, after reading these Taylor Swift ticket tales, I’ll never complain about a crashing ticket queue again.

While Taylor hasn’t announced an Australian Eras tour yet, she did say via Instagram international dates would be “announced as soon as we can”.

Aussie fans, maybe start prepping your best “Mastermind” era if you wanna snag tickets.

Image: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison