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Taylor Swift fans sue Ticketmaster following fumbled presale

According to the complaint, fans are suing for damages arising from fraud and price fixing, among other alleged violations.
/ Source: TODAY

Taylor Swift fans are suing Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company for Ticketmaster, following the presale debacle last month for her 2023 “The Eras Tour.”

According to court documents reviewed by TODAY, the plaintiffs alleged breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, fraud, fraudulent inducement and several antitrust violations.

The plaintiffs are seeking a penalty of $2,500 against Ticketmaster for every violation of Business and Professions Code, section 17200.

The lawsuit specifically cited the “ticket sale disaster” that occurred on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 during the Verified Fan presale, which caused the site to crash, and the Capital One presale. Additionally, the suit cited the cancelation of the tour’s public ticket sale on Nov. 18 due to what Ticketmaster described as “extraordinarily high demands on ticket systems” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory” to meet the demand.

“Based on information and belief, Ticketmaster has effectuated this anticompetitive scheme by forcing fans of musicians to exclusively use Ticketmaster for presale and sales prices, which are above what a competitive market price would be,” the suit alleges. “Ticketmaster has also forced attendees to exclusively use Ticketmaster’s ‘Secondary Ticket Exchange’—i.e., the platform Ticketmaster operates for the resale of concert tickets.”

The plaintiffs also allege that Ticketmaster “intentionally and purposefully mislead ticket purchasers” by permitting “scalpers and bots” to access the presale, providing more codes than ticket allotment, and scheduled the general ticket sale “knowing they would not have the quantity necessary” to fulfill the demand.

“We believe that both Taylor Swift and her fans were hurt by Ticketmaster,” said Jennifer Kinder, an attorney for the plaintiffs, in a statement. “Ticketmaster messed with the wrong fan base.”

Kinder noted the petition still needs to be accepted by the court.

Swift’s representatives and Live Nation Entertainment did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ticketmaster said that 3.5 million fans had pre-registered for Swift’s Verified Fan program, the largest registration in its history. According to Ticketmaster, 2.4 million tickets were sold during presale.

“Even when a high demand on sale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed,” Ticketmaster said. “For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)… that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.”

After the general ticket sale was canceled by the company, Swift spoke out on social media by sharing a statement to her Instagram story.

“It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,” Swift wrote. “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.”

Ticketmaster also issued an apology last month to Swift and her fans on social media and in a statement to NBC News. 

“We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans — especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets,” read the tweet.