Millions of angered Taylor Swift fans didn’t receive tickets to the artist’s latest tour after a widely scrutinized debacle over bungled ticket sales. But ticketing giant Ticketmaster announced Monday that a select group of fans might be able to receive tickets after all.
The lucky group is among those fans who registered as “verified.” They were notified Monday via email, and will receive their individual invite to submit their purchase request before December 23, according to a post by Ticketmaster. The invitations will be staggered based on tour dates in different cities.
“You have been identified as a fan who received a boost during the Verified Fan presale but did not purchase tickets,” the email said. “We apologize for the difficulties you may have experienced, and have been asked by Taylor’s team to create this additional opportunity for you to purchase tickets.”
Presale tickets for “The Eras Tour” frustrated Swift fans across the country in a debacle that stayed in the headlines for weeks. In November, “Verified Fans” were sent a presale code — but when sales began, heavy demand snarled the website and millions of Swifties could not get their hands on a ticket. Presale tickets for Capital One card holders brought similar frustration — and then Ticketmaster canceled sales to the general public, citing “extraordinarily high demand” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”
Ticketmaster explained on Monday the process to get a second chance for tickets: Fans will receive a summary of their purchase and an email after the request window closes to let them know if their request has been confirmed. Once the fan’s request is confirmed, their card will be charged and they will receive instructions on how to claim the tickets.
While tickets aren’t guaranteed, Ticketmaster said it would try its “best” to provide verified fans with an additional option to get tickets if the particular price range that the fan requested is unavailable.
Swift spoke out earlier this month in a heartfelt post about the ticketing “mistakes,” writing on Instagram that there were a “multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time” getting tickets, and said the experience was “excruciating” for her to watch.
In a blog post that has since been taken down, Ticketmaster said its “Verified Fans” system, a mechanism aimed at eliminating bots by giving presale codes to individuals, couldn’t keep up with the intense demand. Roughly 3.5 million people signed up for the program to buy Swift tickets, its “largest registration in history.” That unprecedented demand, combined with a “staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes” drove “unprecedented traffic” to its site, Ticketmaster said, and, essentially, broke it.
Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans for the “terrible experience” some had trying to purchase tickets and said it would work to “shore up our tech for the new bar that has been set by demand” for Swift’s tour.
The ticketing debacle drew the ire of several lawmakers, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, who wrote an open letter to Ticketmaster’s CEO, saying she has “serious concerns” about the company’s operations.
And in a letter addressed to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino earlier this month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee demanded a briefing on what went wrong and what steps the company is taking to fix the problems.
In addition, the Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation, a source told CNN, to determine whether the company has a monopoly in the market for concerts, including ticket purchasing.
Live Nation responded in a statement posted to its website, saying it “takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously” and “does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.”
– CNN’s Frank Pallotta and Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.