Fans of two of the biggest performers in the world—Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny—are furious with Ticketmaster.
This past weekend, the Puerto Rican rapper performed two sold-out gigs at Mexico City’s 85,000-capacity Azteca Stadium, yet Ticketmaster had to turn away more than a thousand of his supporters. Ticketmaster published a statement promising refunds to anyone who had their entrance tickets confiscated, and blamed the situation on counterfeit tickets.
However, official Mexican accounts provide a different picture.
In a Spanish-language interview with Radio Fómula, Ricardo Sheffield, head of Mexico’s Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer (PROFECO), stated that these tickets were legitimate and supplied by Ticketmaster. From Sheffield’s vantage point, what transpired was that Ticketmaster oversold the show. Sheffield stated that impacted consumers would get a 20% compensation charge in addition to a full refund of their tickets. Ticketmaster might be fined as much as 10 percent of its annual Mexican revenue by PROFECO.
According to Sheffield, 1,600 ticket-holding patrons on Friday and 110 on Saturday were denied entry.
Live Nation Entertainment, the parent firm of Ticketmaster, is also the subject of an investigation by American authorities. An antitrust probe was launched by the Department of Justice into the entertainment industry behemoth in the previous month of November.
Live Nation issued a statement saying, “As we have stated many times in the past, Live Nation takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously and does not engage in behaviours that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practises.”
It’s one thing to miss out on tickets to fellow fans, but when a performance sells out in minutes, frequently due to competition from bots, thousands of tickets suddenly reappear on resale sites like Vivid Seats, SeatGeek, and StubHub, generally at a much higher price. Though it issued presale codes to a limited number of “confirmed fans,” Ticketmaster still had problems with the Taylor Swift Eras tour presale and blamed bots.
Those who have Verified Fan credentials “enjoy a smooth shopping procedure,” Ticketmaster said. “Historically, we’ve been able to handle large numbers coming into the site to shop for tickets,” the company added. “However, the enormous volume of bot assaults and fans without codes this time caused 3.5 billion total system requests, 4x our prior peak,” the site’s administrators explained.
The number of Taylor Swift tickets sold on November 15 was over two million, which was a new record for a single-day ticket sale for any artist at Ticketmaster. However, many fans either had no luck getting their hands on secure tickets at all, or they waited in record-breaking long virtual queues for hours just to be denied entry.
According to Federal Trade Commission head Lina Khan, “more Gen Z’ers were converted into antimonopolists overnight than anything I could have done” after Ticketmaster’s collapse during the presale for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.
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