A group of Taylor Swift fans have filed a lawsuit against Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster following the drama surrounding the superstar’s Eras Tour ‘Verified Fan’ pre-sale last month.
On Tuesday November 15, demand outstripped supply during the presale for the tour, ticketed by Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster, and promoted by Live Nation rival AEG.
The lawsuit claims that, “millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases”.
Following the ensuing furor after the presale last month, Ticketmaster announced that it was canceling the general sale scheduled for Friday (November 18) citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand”.
As reported by Deadline, in the lawsuit, filed in California, the plaintiffs accuse the ticketing giant of “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations”.
They also allege that “Ticketmaster intentionally and knowingly allowed scalpers and bots access” to the presale.
They claim further that, “Ticketmaster intentionally and knowingly scheduled a general sale of tickets knowing they would not have the quantity necessary to facilitate the sale”.
The plaintiffs are demanding $2,500 in civil damages for each violation “as proved at trial”.
Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans in a blog post published last month, which was originally deleted, and then republished.
The platform noted in the post that over 3.5 million people pre-registered for Taylor Swift tickets, which it says is “the largest registration in history.”
Ticketmaster also claimed that demand was so high for tickets that, based on the volume of traffic to its site, Taylor Swift “would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)”.
Over 2 million tickets were sold for Taylor Swift’s tour on November 15, “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day” according to Ticketmaster.
Following the ticketing debacle, Amy Klobuchar, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino raising concerns about what she says is “the lack of competition in the ticketing industry”.
Later in the month, Klobuchar and Mike Lee, also of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, announced that they plan to hold a hearing to “examine” what they say is a “lack of competition in the ticketing industry”.
In a press release, they write that hearing follows the “significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website that left fans unable to purchase concert tickets”
Music Business Worldwide