Live Nation On Taylor Swift Ticket Debacle: She’s The Problem, It’s Her

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Live Nation On Taylor Swift Ticket Debacle: She’s The Problem, It’s Her

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Ticketmaster crashed and queues lasted for hours when tickets for Taylor Swift’s stadium tour went on sale Tuesday. This led to lots of angry Swifties and calls from various lawmakers to break up Ticketmaster and investigate the merger between the ticketing platform and concert promoter Live Nation. Now Live Nation has responded.

Greg Maffei is the CEO of Liberty Media, which owns part of Live Nation, and is the chairman of Live Nation plus SiriusXM and TripAdvisor. (Yes, this one guy controls all those companies. Yeesh.) In an interview with CNBC, Maffei essentially said there was nothing Ticketmaster could have done to prepare for the number of fans seeking tickets. Here’s a direct quote:

The reality is it’s a function of the massive demand that Taylor Swift has. 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 2 million tickets that day. We could’ve filled 900 stadiums. And the reality is 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.

When the interviewer mentioned that his 17-year-old daughter was “pissed,” Maffei replied, “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.” Watch footage of the interview below.

UPDATE: Ticketmaster has announced that the general-public ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, set to begin tomorrow, has been “cancelled.” It’s not clear whether that means the tickets are all sold out or whether Ticketmaster is just attempting to shy away from the backlash that greeted the early sales, but anyone still scrambling to get those tickets might now be shit out of luck.

UPDATE 2: Taylor released a statement.

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