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Taylor Swift tour sells 2m tickets in single day

"We could have filled 900 stadiums," says Live Nation chair Greg Maffei after demand for the singer's Eras Tour "exceeded every expectation"

By James Hanley on 18 Nov 2022

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei

Greg Maffei


Live Nation chair Greg Maffei says Taylor Swift “could have filled 900 stadiums” after selling more than two million tickets in the presale for her 2023 The Eras US tour.

Ticketmaster says the number of tickets sold for the 52-date tour has set a new record for an artist in a single day.

Maffei, who is CEO of Liberty Media, LN’s largest shareholder, tells CNBC that the promoter is “sympathetic” for the fans who missed out on tickets despite long wait times.

“The site was supposed to be opened up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site”

“Reality is, it’s a function of the massive demand that Taylor Swift has,” he says. “The site was supposed to be opened up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots – another story – which are not supposed to be there. And despite all the challenges and the breakdowns, we did sell over two million tickets that day, we could have filled 900 stadiums.”

Ticketmaster cancelled today’s general sale, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand”.

In a now deleted blog post, the company said a record 3.5m people pre-registered for Swift’s Verified Fan presale, 1.5m of whom were later invited to participate in the onsale, with the remaining 2m placed on a waiting list. It estimated “about 15% of interactions across the site” experienced issues.

“Every ticket was sold to a buyer with a Verified Fan code. Nobody (not even a bot) could join a queue without being verified”

“Historically, working with Verified Fan invite codes as we’ve been able to manage the volume coming into the site to shop for tickets,” it said. “However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak.

“Every ticket was sold to a buyer with a Verified Fan code. Nobody (not even a bot) could join a queue without being verified.”

Hitting back at criticism from American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Maffei adds: “This is not actually a Live Nation promoted concert. Taylor Swift is promoted by one of our largest competitors. So though AOC may not like every element of our business, interestingly, AEG our competitor, who is the promoter for Taylor Swift, chose to use us because we are in reality, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world. Even our competitors want to come on our platform.

“We sold two million tickets, the most we’ve ever sold in one day in history”

“I apologise to all our fans. We are working hard on this and, again, building capacity for peak demand is something we attempt to do, but this exceeded every expectation. And the reality is Taylor Swift hasn’t been on the road for three or four years and that’s caused a huge issue.”

Speaking at Liberty Media’s investor day, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino says: “We invited a million and a half on that day to come and buy those tickets, but it’s kind of like having a party. Everybody crashed that door at the same time with 3.5 billion requests.

“We sold two million tickets, the most we’ve ever sold in one day in history, and another million tickets of other artists on the same day. So although we regret it was a slowdown in some queues and some error codes for a short period for some fans, we did manage to recover.”

 


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