HAVE you tried to buy concert tickets lately? It’s a minefield - and an expensive one at that. Taylor Swift ticket sales essentially broke Ticketmaster this week in the United States, as well as breaking the bank for those who managed to get hold of some, as the increasing exclusivity of the process sparks debate.


What happened?

Tickets to see superstar songstress Taylor Swift on her upcoming US leg of her "The Eras" tour to promote her new hit album, Midnights, went on sale this week, with the "pre-sale" selling so swiftly, Ticketmaster cancelled the next stage of the sale, which would have opened it up to the public, saying “extraordinarily high demand” was to blame.


So who snapped up the pre-sale?

The demand signifies Swift’s ardent fan following as 3.5 million of her “Swifties” - as her fanbase is known - registered for sales in advance as “verified fans” to enable pre-sale access, but Ticketmaster also held a pre-sale for the owners of a credit card from the tour’s sponsor, Capital One.



Ticketmaster said “unprecedented traffic” of 3.5 billion users - four times the normal amount - surged the site, including a “staggering number of bot attacks”. It cancelled the public sale, due to take place yesterday, saying there was “insufficient remaining ticket inventory”.


So what now?

The firm still sold more than 2 million tickets - the most ever for an artist in one day. And although it says the pre-sale aims to prevent scalping, already, tickets are selling on re-sale sites for tens of thousands of dollars.


They were expensive enough at source!

Some fans took to social media to report waiting in online queues for around eight hours, and many finding they still were unable to get tickets, which cost between $49 and $449 each.


It’s not a new issue?

In July, Ticketmaster hit the headlines for its "dynamic pricing system" during sales of Bruce Springsteen tickets for his upcoming tour, allowing the firm to up the price mid-sale according to demand. The system meant that fans who were about to cough up £155 for front standing tickets at Murrayfield in Edinburgh next summer, ended up with a bill for nearly £450 instead in what was a global issue. Mid-floor tickets for the US leg were selling for $4,000 to $5,000 each on Ticketmaster, with less desirable seats still going for more than $1,000.


What’s the reaction been?

Fans have taken to social media to express outrage. One "deeply upset" Swiftie posted an open letter to the star online, saying she hoped she had "a solution to fix it" and asked for "easy access and affordable options”, while American politician and activist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called for Ticketmaster to be broken up, referencing its merger with LiveNation more than a decade ago, saying: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it's merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.”