Ticketmaster has dashed the hopes and ruined the Christmas of millions of Taylor Swift fans still hoping to get tickets to The Eras Tour with the announcement that tomorrow’s general on-sale has been canceled.
In a tweet on Thursday, Ticketmaster alerted fans that “Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.”
Representatives for Live Nation and Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment. It’s unclear what will happen to the remaining unsold tickets — if there are any, after the Verified Fans and Capitol One presales — or if the general on-sale will be rescheduled.
On the official Ticketmaster site, the company tried to explain the ticket-buying debacle that saw millions of fans waitlisted on the Verified Fan presale, with even those who did get presale codes shut out to do the whack-a-mole nature of securing tickets.
“Historically, working with Verified Fan invite codes has worked as we’ve been able to manage the volume coming into the site to shop for tickets,” Ticketmaster wrote. “However, 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.”
The explanation also included the outrageous claim that, in order for Swift to adequately meet fan demand, “Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)…that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.”
Until there’s clarity on the fate of the remaining tickets, fans can still get gouged on the secondary market. However, as Ticketmaster notes, “90% fewer tickets are currently posted for resale on secondary markets than a typical on sale,” driving up prices to astronomical levels.
This all comes just hours after Live Nation Entertainment company chairman Greg Maffei tried to punt the blame for the Ticketmaster mess back on Swift. In an interview on Thursday, he claimed that the fault isn’t on Live Nation or Ticketmaster, but on the incomprehensible demand for tickets. The singer, he suggested, is simply too famous.
“The Live Nation team is sympathetic to the long wait times and fans who couldn’t get what they wanted,” Maffei told CNBC. “Reality is it’s a function of the massive demand that Taylor Swift has. The site was supposed to be opened up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift Fans. We had 14 million people hit the site – including bots, another story, which are not supposed to be there. And despite all the challenges and the breakdowns, we did sell over 2 million tickets that day. We could have filled 900 stadiums.”