Pop superstar Taylor Swift said on Friday it was “excruciating” for her to watch as fans competed for tickets to her upcoming US tour after being assured Ticketmaster could handle the huge demand. The New York Times reported that the US Department of Justice is investigating whether Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, abused its power over the multi-billion dollar live music industry.
The investigation appears to be comprehensive and began ahead of the botched sale of tickets to Swift’s tour this week, the Times said on Friday, citing anonymous sources. The Justice Department declined to comment. Many people hoping to snag seats on Swift’s Eras tour for their first concerts in five years said they waited for hours and were repeatedly kicked off the Ticketmaster website during the presale this week.
Swift said on Instagram that it’s “excruciating for me just to watch mistakes happen without recourse.” She said she would “not apologize to anyone” because her team had been repeatedly assured by ticket sellers that they could handle a surge in demand. Ticketmaster offered seats to most shows on the 20-city, 52-date US stadium tour from March through August.
Selling tickets for a handful of performances in Texas and Arizona, SeatGeek also reported long wait times, urging fans to “please be patient.” Ticketmaster and SeatGeek did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.
Earlier in the week, Ticketmaster said it had unprecedented interest in Swift’s tour and was working quickly to resolve technical issues during pre-sales. The sale to the general public scheduled for Friday has been cancelled. Swift said it was “really amazing” that 2.4 million people bought tickets, “but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through multiple bear attacks to get them.”
The “Anti-Hero” singer said she’s “trying to figure out how this situation can be improved in the future.” For those who didn’t get tickets, Swift said her hope is “to give us more opportunities to get together and sing these songs.”
In October, Swift released her latest album, pop record Midnights. She has promised hits from albums spanning her career on the Eras tour. Ticketmaster has regularly pissed off artists and fans for decades. In the mid-1990s, grunge band Pearl Jam decided to tour without Ticketmaster but found it too unwieldy to handle ticket sales on their own and returned to the service after 14 months.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010 in a deal approved by the Justice Department over opposition from some lawmakers and musicians who feared the combined company would become too powerful.
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