A Dose of Cruel Summer and Capitalism

Taylor Swift Pre-Sale Drama Impacts EHS



Taylor Swift fans encountered long queues and site crashes when purchasing concert tickets.


A cult? There may be no other way to describe the phenomena that was a circle of supporters donned in white graphic sweatshirts as they wailed verses in unison. They were a passionate and fiercely loyal group that pummeled any dissenters of their majesty, the highness of industry, their matriarch. They called themselves the “Swifties.”

These zealous supporters awaited eagerly for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend her Eras tour concert in late May. But, who wouldn’t? Chart-topping and genre-spanning Taylor Swift declared that she would be exclusively performing all of her songs on this tour as a journey through her musical evolution. The Eras tour, essentially, promised the experience of dozens of concerts jam-packed into one magical night. 

Even if this musical equivalent of Disneyland tragically fell short of its promise, Swift’s ticketmaster debacle was far from unmemorable for her adoring fans. Millions of them counted down the seconds till the presale of tickets through the Ticketmasters’ Verified Fans program on November 15, 2022. Ticketmaster fervently anticipated the influx of revenue from dedicated Swifties through the presale, but it lacked the foresight to predict the consequences of offering these elite ticket opportunities. On the day of the sale, the registration website crashed repeatedly and errored as fans scurried to salvage tickets selling at a minimum of four hundred dollars. At the end, millions of fans were disappointed at their inability to secure a ticket despite entering the pre-sale as the company announced that the public sale the next day was canceled as well. 

A portion of those credit-card waiving admirers were Edison high school students who were abuzz with excitement on November 15 as they recruited parents, siblings, and wealthy, estranged relatives to purchase tickets. Very few were successful and those who were not were left in near-tears for the remainder of the school day, rendering them unable to focus.

One hard-core Swiftie, Anika Prakash ‘24, recounted her experience and ruefully admitted Swift’s importance to her childhood.

 “I’ve been a Swiftie since I was six years old, and I signed up for both pre-sales and still didn’t get tickets. I signed up for the one later and then it got canceled. What was even the point? I was devastated.” 

This concert was not only a matter of fans’ current obsessions but a matter of reminiscing their childhood. After denying countless fans of this nostalgic experience, Ticketmaster has come under severe scrutiny by the Department of Justice due to the corporation’s monopoly on ticketing events as the legality of trusts is once again brought into question. Politicians like Alexandria Occasio-Cortez have also criticized the corporation for its adoption of companies like LiveEvents, and Taylor Swift herself expressed her regret on social media to her fans. 

Unfortunately, neither Ticketmaster nor the government can reimburse fans of their youthful fantasies or undying love as this debacle gave birth to—not a desperate but adoring fanbase—but instead a group of radicals combating capitalistic organizations that exploit artists and the working class in the name of music.