Two thousand was the number on every Swiftie’s mind as they stared at the dreaded “2000+ people ahead of you” message for hours during Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan Presale on Nov. 15. After spending hours in the queue, only to be kicked out or find no tickets available, many Taylor Swift fans — UB students included — found themselves disillusioned with her massively popular “The Eras” Tour.
Anya Weinrieb, a freshman pre-med major at Ithaca College, tried to buy tickets to Swift’s concert with several friends from UB. It didn’t go according to plan.
“All of a sudden my screen turned white and it said ‘error heading,’ and then I freaked out and waited a little more,” Weinrieb said. “Then, I started looking at other concerts because I thought maybe I could spend my money somewhere else, and that’s what I did.”
Weinrieb saved herself $700 by opting for Backseat Lovers’ Toronto show over Swift’s highly anticipated tour.
Beth Carpenter, a librarian at UB’s Lockwood Library, willingly gave up her seat. Her limit was $200, but her friend could only snag two tickets for their group of five at $900 apiece. She explored other options, instead purchasing $25 tickets to a Taylor Swift dance party in Toronto.
Other Swifties encountered no issues with the Ticketmaster purchasing experience. Sophomore business major Ella Rocha and her friends were among the lucky ones. She could barely contain her excitement after securing Swift tickets for this May in New Jersey for only $195.
Rocha places no blame on Swift for other fans’ struggles to obtain tickets.
“I know other artists have had a lot of issues with Ticketmaster too,” Rocha said.
Following the heated reactions to the limited availability, insanely high prices and wild demand for her tour, Swift issued an apology to her Instagram story on Nov. 18. “It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,” Swift said in her statement.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.
“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
Some fans survived these “bear attacks” and embraced Swift’s apology.
“I think it was good that [Swift] put out a statement because obviously [her] fans were upset but it’s too little too late,” Weinrieb said. “But also she is not Ticketmaster. I feel like she doesn’t have much control over it.”
Others felt that Swift’s apology was a disingenuous attempt at damage control.
“She didn’t name Ticketmaster, which feels really pointed and purposeful,” Carpenter said. “She’s played the social media game to keep people on her side, even though it was a really disastrous experience.”
Even though Swifties have conflicting opinions about their Ticketmaster experience and Swift’s recent apology, it is safe to say that these scarce tickets cost an arm, a leg and then some.
“Ticketmaster is way overpricing tickets,” Becky Loniewski, a sophomore communication major, said. “I believe that Taylor Swift did not want them to be that high of a cost. Ticketmaster is just taking advantage of her popularity and trying to profit off of any desperate Swifties and it’s not okay.”
Despite fans’ “Bad Blood” with one of ticketing’s biggest names, some were able to “Shake It Off” while others are only left with a “Blank Space” in their bank account.
Alex Novak is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Novak is an assistant arts editor at The Spectrum.