Swifties protest Ticketmaster outside US Capitol

Serena Erickson, Social Media Manager

Taylor Swift fans, popularly known as Swifties, protested outside of the nation’s capital January 24 due to Ticketmaster causing problems for many fans who planned to go to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour, The Era’s tour. Millions of Swifties waited online to get tickets for the presale. However, many fans were left disappointed when Ticketmaster’s website crashed and canceled the public sale. 

Ticketmaster explicitly reassured Taylor Swift that their systems would be able to handle the traffic, but this promise was empty. Jennifer Kinder, the Dallas-based attorney who represented Swifties in their lawsuit, helped organize the protest outside the hearing to send a message to leaders of the company and the committee probing it.

According to Up First, a Daily News podcast by National Public Radio, certain musicians have been complaining about Ticketmaster for a very long time. These complaints date back to 1994, when members of the band Pearl Jam testified before Congress about the issue.

Senators held a meeting January 24, where they questioned if Ticketmaster holds a monopoly over the ticketing industry. During the hearing, Many of lawmakers’ questions were aimed at Joe Berchtold, the president and chief financial officer of Live Nation Entertainment. Berchtold acknowledged the issues in the industry, but tried to downplay Ticketmaster’s dominance in the market. 

During the hearing, senators and witnesses were quoting Taylor Swift lyrics. Senator Richard Blumenthal told Berchtold, “Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror, and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me.’” Later, Senator Mike Lee described restricting the ability of consumers reselling their tickets as “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”