Taylor Swift fans headed to court in downtown Los Angeles on Monday to call out Ticketmaster for ‘unlawful conduct’ during the singer’s ‘excruciating’ tour sale.
After millions were left unable to buy tickets, around 320 Swifties filed a lawsuit against the world’s largest ticket marketplace and its parent-company, Live Nation, for ‘intentionally’ charging ‘sky high fees’ and selling the ‘tickets to scalpers.’
The plaintiffs, who are asking for at least $2,500 each in damages, also claimed that the ticketing giant violated antitrust laws, according to WSIL-TV.
At the status hearing, the ‘class action status was discussed’ and some arguments were heard by ‘disgruntled fans.’
Lead plaintiff Julie Barfuss, from Salt Lake City, vocalized her hopes that this case will help fans have better experiences trying to see their own favorite performers.
Not shaking it off: Taylor Swift fans headed to court in downtown Los Angeles on Monday to to call out Ticketmaster for ‘unlawful conduct’ during the singer’s ‘excruciating’ tour sale (Swift seen on The Eras Tour over the weekend)
Upset: After millions were left unable to buy tickets, around 300 Swifties filed a class-action lawsuit against the world’s largest ticket marketplace and its parent-company Live Nation for ‘intentionally’ charging ‘sky high fees’ and selling the ‘tickets to scalpers’ (fans pictured outside the U.S. Capitol in January)
‘I tried in total of 41 times that first day to get tickets. It kicks you out into the queue and you’re back in and then I kept getting errors,’ she told CNN. ‘Then, I again spent a couple hours trying to do it the second day. When I finally got in and was going to buy tickets, they were like $1400.’
Another Swiftie, named Penny Harrison, told the outlet that the case had ‘nothing to do with the money’ and ‘everything to do with TicketMaster’ being the ‘only venue in town’ and ‘only place to get tickets.’
‘The hope is that in 10 years from now that they’ll look back and say this was the turning point. This was when competition branched out and ticket prices came down,’ she continued.
Kinder Law PLLC, a woman-owned personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas, tweeted a photo of their client Jen Landry ahead of the hearing as well as another of another fan in a black t-shirt, which described Ticketmaster as ‘the epitome of a monopoly, hated by fans.’
Jennifer Kinder, who is representing the 320 Swifties, explained this is not a ‘class action.’
‘A class action is not effective. Ticketmaster needs to be sued over and over and over again for every ticket sale,’ she told the Telepgraph. ‘The Swiftie group is going to be the test pilot.’
Next, she will aid Beyoncé and BTS plaintiffs in similar cases.
In November, Swift, 33, said she is just as ‘p**sed off’ as everyone in an Instagram statement about the disastrous sale of her tickets.
Facing off: Kinder Law PLLC, a woman-owned personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas, tweeted a photo of their client Jen Landry ahead of the hearing as well as another of another fan in a black t-shirt, which described Ticketmaster as ‘the epitome of a monopoly, hated by fans’
Ready for it: The plaintiffs, who are asking for at least $2,500 each in damages, also claimed that the ticketing giant violated antitrust laws, according to WSIL-TV
‘It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,’ she began in the lengthy post. ‘We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house.’
Taylor went on to explain – without mentioning the company by name – that she chose to use Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system because she thought it would ‘improve the quality of her fans’ experience,’ despite it being ‘really difficult’ for her to ‘trust an outside entity.’
‘I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team, who care as much about my fans as I do,’ she continued.
‘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.’
The Cardigan songstress added that there were ‘multiple reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets’ and that she’s currently ‘trying to figure out how the situation can be improved moving forward.’
‘I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,’ she said.
‘It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really p**ses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.’
She concluded her message with a note to those who weren’t able to get their hands on a ticket, writing, ‘All I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us all to get together and sing these songs.
‘Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.’
After the ticket fiasco, thousands of Taylor’s fans took to social media to share their heartbreak, posting videos of themselves sobbing and begging for Taylor to step in and do something.
Outraged: In November, Swift, 33, said she is just as ‘pissed off’ as everyone in an Instagram statement about the disastrous sale of her tickets
‘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’ (seen in August)
Too much demand: The ticket selling website received backlash from Swifties when it announced that the public sale was canceled due to ‘insufficient remaining ticket inventory’ in November
The fiasco even led to an investigation from the Justice Department into whether Ticketmaster has ‘abused its power’ over the live-music industry, the New York Times reported.
‘The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster, whose sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets descended into chaos this week, said two people with knowledge of the matter,’ the outlet reported.
‘The investigation is focused on whether Live Nation Entertainment has abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.’
Ticketmaster used a system called Verified Fan for Taylor’s pre-sale, which ‘identifies real humans and weeds out bots,’ according to the site.
‘Keeping bots out of queues and avoiding overcrowding helps to make waits shorter and on sales smoother,’ it explained in a blog post addressing the Taylor ticket sale, which has now been deleted.
‘That’s why Taylor’s touring team, AEG and The Messina Touring Group, chose to use Verified Fan for her on sales.’
Fans had to request access to buy tickets in the weeks leading up to the sale, and the ones that were selected were given a unique code that allowed them to get onto the website and purchase up to six tickets for one date during the pre-sale.
Ticketmaster explained in its post that more than 3.5 million people registered for codes, which is the ‘largest registration in history.’
‘Historically, around 40 per cent of invited fans actually show up and buy tickets, and most purchase an average of three tickets,’ it continued.
Incredible show: Swift kicked off the Eras Tour on March 18, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona (seen on Friday night)
Making history: Earlier this month, she broke the record for most attended female concert while performing to a crowd of 69,000 in Glendale, Arizona (the crowd pictured at the Eras Tour over the weekend)
‘So working with the artist team, around 1.5 million people were invited to participate in the [pre-sale] for all 52 show dates.’
Before the pre-sale even began, many were left fuming over the fact that they didn’t get a code. But they stayed hopeful that they would get a chance to purchase tickets during the regular sale.
But when those who did receive codes logged on to try to snag tickets on Tuesday, chaos ensued. Many were stuck waiting in a ‘queue’ on the website for hours, only for tickets to be completely gone by the time they were let in.
In addition, others who did get in said Ticketmaster froze when they tried to purchase their tickets, resulting in them losing the seats.
Many shared their frustrations online, with one person writing in a scathing tweet: ‘F**k you, Ticketmaster. I was about to check out my tickets for Taylor swift and you glitched and sent me to the very back of the queue and now I’ll probably never get tickets. Thank you so much for not doing what you were literally designed to do.’
‘I HAD 17 PEOPLE AHEAD OF ME IN QUEUE AND TICKETMASTER BOOTED ME OUT OF QUEUE IM GONNA SCREAM I HAVE TO WAIT FOR 2000 + PEOPLE AGAIN AHHH WTF,’ added another user.
Someone else raged: ‘@taylorswift13 @Ticketmaster @TMFanSupport I did everything i was supposed to do to become a verified fan, received my code, and got in the waiting room 30 mins early. Now it is saying I’m not a verified fan. PLEASE HELP.’
‘Ticketmaster – I had Taylor Swift tickets IN my cart – I got a different error. Five times. And then I got kicked out for trying too many times? Come on,’ a different angered fan tweeted.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk