Ticketmaster apologizes to Taylor Swift and fans for 'terrible experience' purchasing concert tickets
UPDATE: After Taylor Swift slammed Ticketmaster for the way it mishandled ticket sales for her upcoming Eras Tour, the company tweeted a mea culpa to Swift and her fanbase on Friday night.
"We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans — especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets," the company wrote. "We feel we owe it to everyone to share some information to explain what happened."
Ticketmaster linked to a statement that seems to be the same one the company originally shared (and then deleted) on Thursday. See the original statement below.
PREVIOUS: It's been a rough week for Swifties.
Fans hoping to snag tickets to Taylor Swift's recently announced Eras tour during the general public sale scheduled for Friday will no longer be able to. Ticketmaster announced on Thursday that it had been canceled. The company wrote on social media, "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."
It's not clear yet if another date for general ticket sales will be set in the future.
The news caps off a disappointing week for a lot of fans. Tickets first went on pre-sale Tuesday for users who qualified for Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program, and within minutes people were complaining about site errors and long waits, with some fans being in a queue for more than five hours.
And, just hours after that sale started, Ticketmaster announced that buyers hoping for tickets to shows on the West Coast — Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Santa Clara, Calif. — wouldn't be able to start buying at 10 a.m. local venue time as planned, but instead would have to come back at 3 p.m. Additionally, the Capital One Cardholder Presale was rescheduled from Tuesday to Wednesday, and that sale only lasted a few hours before it sold out.
Ticketmaster issued a lengthy statement on Thursday attempting to explain the chaos, and revealing that Swift's tour broke a Ticketmaster record, with over two million tickets sold on Tuesday, the most ever sold for an artist in a single day.
In order to be a verified fan and take part in the presale, Ticketmaster had people pre-register in order "to help manage high demand shows — identifying real humans and weeding out bots. Keeping bots out of queues and avoiding overcrowding helps to make waits shorter and on sales smoother." The company says a record 3.5 million people pre-registered, and from there they sent access codes to 1.5 million, while everyone else was waitlisted.
"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 said. "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."
Ticketmaster added, "It usually takes us about an hour to sell through a stadium show, but we slowed down some sales and pushed back others to stabilize the systems. The trade off was longer wait times in queue for some fans."
The company explained that based on the volume of traffic they received this week, Swift would need to perform over 900 stadium shows to meet that demand.
"While it's impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that's what we're focused on," the company concluded.
All of this came after Swift added dates to her tour, not once, but twice. She plans to play a total of 52 dates as of now in the U.S., with international tour stops still to be announced.
A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.