Taylor Swift: Ticketmaster cancels public sale for Eras tour after refusing to take blame for website crashing

Ticketmaster has said that a “staggering number of bot attacks” led to their website crashing when tickets went on sale for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.

On Tuesday (15 November), the first sale began for the US leg of Swift’s 2023 tour, which will celebrate the launch of her last four albums, including recent release Midnights. European dates are yet to be announced.

Two weeks before tickets went on sale, fans were told to sign up for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program where, if chosen, they would receive a code getting them into the presale.

However, the website crashed due to demand, leaving many fans empty-handed. The tour goes on general sale on Friday (18 November).

After US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Ticketmaster to be “reigned in” from their “monopoly” over the live music industry, Ticketmaster released a lengthy statement on Thursday (17 November) explaining why their site hadn’t been able to handle the “unprecedented traffic”.

“The Eras on sale made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and continues to set records,” the company said. “We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour.”

Ticketmaster said that fans needed to register in advance for the Verified Fan system, designed to “help manage high demand shows” by “identifying real humans and weeding out bots”.

However, they said that while the system usually worked, 3.5 million people had pre-registered as a Verified Fan of Swift’s, marking the largest registration in their history.

“This time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak,” Ticketmaster explained.

“Never before has a Verified Fan on sale sparked so much attention – or uninvited volume. This disrupted the predictability and reliability that is the hallmark of our Verified Fan platform.”

Eras is Swift’s first tour in five years and will feature music from her recent albums Lover, Folklore, Evermore and Midnights.

Tickets across the 52 US dates were on sale for between $49 (£41) and $449 (£378), but are now being resold on secondary websites for up to $22,000 (£18,500).