The trials and tribulations of Ticketmaster
By Bella Coco, Staff Writer
With concert fever taking the world by storm post-pandemic, music lovers are having a harder and more strenuous time attempting to get tickets to see their favorite artists and bands.
One of the most notable Ticketmaster failures this year was when Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour. Due to high demand, multiple pre-sales were put into place to ensure fans got tickets to see their favorite pop star.
Pre-sales with banks such as Avion and RBC gave fans exclusive access to sales and contests. In addition, fans were encouraged to sign up for the pre-sale via Ticketmaster Verified Fan. Fans would be selected at random and sent a code to access the pre-sale.
Fans from all over the world signed up for the U.S. leg of the tour, and many Swifties dubbed it “The Great War of Ticketmaster.”
With the new development of Swift’s Canadian leg of her Eras Tour, Ticketmaster received additional criticism from her tried and true Canadian fans. Many expressed anger and frustration on social media when they found that many American fans of the singer got codes and tickets to her Toronto and Vancouver shows, and claimed that Ticketmaster should block out additional, international buyers.
In a social media survey asking MRU students about their experiences with Ticketmaster, not one respondent praised Ticketmaster.
A user who got Eras Tour tickets said that the process was extremely painful and stressful, and that it was a miracle that she managed to get tickets.
Another respondent claimed that using Ticketmaster was a lose-lose situation. Those who do not sign up for the pre-sale most likely won’t be able to buy tickets, and even those with a code may not get into the queue on time and just helplessly watch the seats disappear.
In addition, the user touched on the fact that Ticketmaster prices were ridiculously overpriced, especially for artists who are just starting out or have just claimed their fame.
Concert ticket prices for breaking-out artists such as Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan have received criticism from fans.
Rodrigo, who announced a tour for her sophomore album on Sept. 13, had floor ticket prices selling for $700 to $800. Kahan, who is currently performing on his Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) world tour, had floor tickets at the Scotiabank Saddledome for around $500. Fans of both artists have demonstrated their displeasure for the sky-high ticket prices.
Another issue fans have with Ticketmaster are what people call “hidden fees.” After fans claim their seats for a concert and move to check out, they end up paying for more than the ticket and the taxes. In addition to what could well be a $1000 floor seat, Ticketmaster has an order processing fee and a service fee.
These fees typically range from $20 to $60, depending on the artist and the venue. The one thing these additional fees all have in common is that they infuriate fans.
Veteran users of Ticketmaster recommend that concert enjoyers do their best to sign up for pre-sales, be prepared to spend more than anticipated, and to not be surprised if things don’t go according to plan.