Opinion: A concert mom’s take on Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster

Editor’s note: Amy Bass (@bassab1) is a professor of sports studies at Manhattanville College and the author of One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and a Game That Brings a Divided Town Together and Not Victory, It’s Struggle: The 1968 Olympics and the History of the Games Formed such titles as “Black Athlete”. The opinions expressed here are solely hers. Read more on CNN Opinions.


For the past week or so, as the Taylor Swift ticket frenzy has dominated my life — and the lives of millions of others — I’ve been thinking about how my mother died when I was 15 When Lying Got Me Got I saw the Ramones at a theater in Albany, New York, many years ago.

Amy Bass

She drove me and my friend to a show with the intention of reading a good book in the parking lot, but when we were stopped at the door for being underage and having no ID, she ended up coming in with us. When we finally got in, a cute bouncer took one look at us and said to my mom, “You guys can go back and play – I’ll keep an eye out for them.”

While I remember every detail of that epic performance, especially the moment when Joey Ramon handed me a guitar pick, what matters to me now is the heroism my mom modeled as a parent example.

Now, fast forward a few decades, I hate to admit it, and I’m the mom of a 15-year-old concert-goer, navigating a world of tickets, transport, and “merchandise” and advising how best to spend my money-won babysitter money. I’m lucky, and I’m not alone in this, because my lifelong best friend, who I’ve watched more shows than anyone else, has her own high school girl. The four of us were together and are now great friends at concerts.

It was an amazing experience. When we were watching at the bar, I loved every second of watching our girls fight for a spot in the pit lane at a Harry Styles show (pro tip: Madison Square Garden Bar has no lines at Harry Styles concerts). Finally, we also join in the cacophony of the feather boas and sequins that make up Harry’s House, marveling at the connection he has with his audience and the diversity and strong community of his fan base.

Indeed, as we once joined thousands of voices coming out of a U2 gig singing “40” long after the band had left the building, our girls were part of a generation of fans who seemed to take care of each other, especially Shout out to the young woman who enters the MSG restroom and announces that she is alone at “Harry’s House” and a large crowd immediately yells “Come with us!” – with no words to ask.

While it feels like it’s all worth it, none of it is easy, such as the legions of parents and fans who can’t get tickets to these shows due to exorbitant pricing tactics or limited and unfair access.

When Taylor Swift dropped “Midnights” at midnight on October 21st, then offered another version, “Midnights (3AM Edition)” three hours later, I knew school would not be easy for millions of kids in the next few days. The fact that midnight album releases — especially when there are exams the next day — are virtual parties for our kids makes me wish Swift’s next album could be titled “Saturday Afternoon” or something like that.

When Swift announced the Eras tour on November 1st, a wave of apprehension rose in my heart. This is her first tour since 2018, and her production now includes so much material that she’s never played live, with so many fans who never actually got a chance to meet her. My one experience with Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” process, supposedly designed to keep scalpers out, turned out badly; I got emails telling me I was selected, but I never received an email with the code text.

My skepticism about the system was further fueled by my experience the week before Taylor Tuesday: Ticketmaster crashed twice while I was trying to get tickets for Louis Tomlinson, a star whose fan base was nowhere near the same as ” Swift” on a par. Every time I throw “general admission” tickets into my cart – no seats assigned – it tells me that another fan “snatched” them and I need to try again. I wonder, how is that possible if the tickets are general admission?

Alas, that’s okay: I was waitlisted for Taylor Swift, whatever that means. My sister was put on the waiting list. My niece was put on a waitlist. But, lo and behold, here comes my good friend.

“I have the code,” she texted. “I have the password.”

We know it’s still difficult. Really, really hard. But we’ve been doing this together for a long time. Back in the day, it wasn’t online code – we slept rough in front of record stores and in parking lots, earning precious wristbands to keep our spots while hoping we’d snag the best seats for Prince, U2 and Def Cheetah. Once, on a particularly cold morning, my sociology teacher showed up to give us all donuts; as soon as we got tickets, he cheered.

Buying a ticket today is a much more solitary experience that revolves around laptops and phones — computerized and mechanized, virtual waiting rooms and queues, and the so-called dynamic pricing system that Ticketmaster uses to change fares based on demand. We combed through Tik Tok and Twitter for tips and tricks, thanking posts from people who expressed stress because they were the only members of their friend group to get a code. We’ve cleared our Tuesday morning calendars and we’re ready to fight knowing that an online betting site is estimated to sell around 2.8 million Eras tickets, giving us a slightly better but still slim chance of getting tickets .

“Good luck – don’t hesitate, but also take your time, but also super fast. I believe in you,” her daughter texted minutes before the pre-sale began.

There is no pressure there. No stress at all.

In short, she got them. They weren’t great seats, they weren’t what we wanted the night she had to deal with numerous “sit tight, we’re securing your verified tickets” messages and finally got an e-mail in her inbox Email confirmation. But with the news of what happened that day, we felt as lucky as the mothers, especially as heartbroken fans and their parents began sharing their experiences — tickets being snatched from their shopping carts, the website Crashes, one error code after another flashing across people’s screens.

“I’m officially no longer telling anyone I have tickets to Taylor Swift,” a neighbor — the only person I know who got tickets — texted me. “I thought I might be robbed in the street.”

While Ticketmaster shrugged off its initial outrage on Tuesday by announcing “unprecedented historic demand” and thanking fans for their “patience,” questions began to be asked. Why are there more codes issued than tickets? Why create more entry points than capacity?

So when I was going to stay in the trenches with my kids and try to support her love of music as my mother did with me, the unchecked monopoly of selling concert tickets to teenagers had to change. As “Swifties” grow increasingly angry with the star herself — indeed, she is a generational artist who has made such an impact on the industry — on Tik Tok, often quoted from the song, “ Our story,” some lawmakers, from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, are calling out the issue.

“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticketing market insulates it from the competitive pressures that would normally drive companies to innovate and improve their service,” Klobuchar, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, wrote Michael Rapino in an open letter, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment (overseeing Ticketmaster). “It could lead to the kind of dramatic service failures we saw this week, and consumers are the ones paying the price.”

That price just went up, up a lot. When Ticketmaster announced on Thursday that it was canceling its scheduled Eras Tour public sale, claiming it was “out of stock” after a “staggering number of bot attacks” during the pre-sale period, I was heartbroken for the thousands of fans who are now officially empty-handed , and the parents, grandparents and friends who worked hard to get them there.

I had those days too – coming home because a night in the parking lot wasn’t enough to get me tickets to a show.

We must do better.


Also Read :  Lamar Odom Admits to 'Laughing Out of Embarrassment' at His 'Crazy' Brazen Cheating on Khloé Kardashian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button