Taylor Swift may be the most recognizable face in the world of music right now, and her latest album called Midnights was a huge hit that resulted in many popular singles, including "Anti-Hero" and "Karma." She has had a variety of other successful albums over the years including Evermore, Lover, Reputation, and Fearless. Taylor's concerts and tours are always a big attraction as well, resulting in millions of tickets sold. Her Red Tour, from 2013 to 2014, grossed a whopping $150 million, quickly becoming the highest-grossing tour ever done by a country artist. However, her latest tour, called the Eras Tour, has generated much controversy, as Ticketmaster has been accused of interfering with the sales of tickets, leaving thousands of people unable to buy their way to Taylor's show.
Senators Quote Taylor Swift During Ticketmaster Hearing in Regards to Her "Era Tour"
On Tuesday, Ticketmaster appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a three-hour hearing in regards to Taylor Swift's Era Tour. Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, sells tickets to various types of concerts around the country, but it seems as though the company had technical issues resulting in their system being so overwhelmed by demand that thousands of people were unable to purchase tickets to Taylor's concerts. Many people called it a "terrible consumer experience." The president of Live Nation, Joe Berchtold, appeared before the Senate and admitted that Ticketmaster failed to provide a decent customer experience last November.
"We need to do better and we will," he told the Senators. He said Ticketmaster was “hit with three times the amount of bot traffic than we had ever experienced” because of the “unprecedented demand for Taylor Swift tickets.” There was so much bot activity that Ticketmaster had to pause their sales. " This is what led to a terrible consumer experience that we deeply regret," Berchtold said.
Ticketmaster apologized to Taylor Swift and her fans during the hearing. "As we said after the onsale, and I reiterate today: We apologize to the fans," Berchtold said. "We apologize to Ms. Swift. We need to do better and we will do better." But Senator Amy Klobuchar pointed out that the company is responsible for 70% of ticket sales in the US, calling it a "monopoly" that controls the industry.
"The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster's dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve," she said.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the hearing was when the Senators started quoting popular Taylor Swift lyrics. “I believe in capitalism, and to have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation. Something that, unfortunately for this country, as an ode to Taylor Swift, we know ‘all too well,’” Senator Klobuchar added.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah said, “I had hoped as of a few months ago to get the gavel back but, once again, she’s the ‘cheer captain, and I’m on the bleachers.’” He also said reselling tickets was "a nightmare dressed like a daydream." But he had one more under his belt: "I have to throw out, in deference to my daughter Eliza, one more Taylor Swift quote. Karma is a relaxing thought, aren't you envious for you it's not?"
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told Berchtold to look in the mirror and say, "I'm the problem, it's me."
Swifties across the internet are thrilled to see so much support for their beloved singer coming from US Senators.