Ticketmaster has cracked again under the weight of a Taylor Swift ticket sale – this time in France.
As French fans prepared Tuesday to buy tickets for six concerts in May and June 2024 on Swift’s Eras Tour — four shows in Paris, two in Lyon — Ticketmaster’s website showed a giant queue of customers ready to buy; a screenshot seemed to tell a fan that 1,023,504 shoppers lined up ahead of them.
Soon Ticketmaster announced that sales for those shows had been put on “pause”. The company offered no explanation, but said a new sale time would be announced and “any codes not yet used will remain valid.” But some social media posts from fans appeared to have technical errors on Ticketmaster’s website, including a progress icon that “keeps spinning and spinning and spinning,” like one fan – English speaking with an American accent, but with 762 euros worth of tickets in their shopping cart – so to speak.
Representatives for Ticketmaster and its parent company, concert giant Live Nation Entertainment, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The situation in France appeared to be a frustrating repeat of the problems that plagued Swift’s North American pre-sales in November, when an influx of millions of fans – and bots – overwhelmed Ticketmaster’s systems and fans reported problems such as tickets in their shopping carts disappearing before she could be bought. Ticketmaster halted public sales as a result, though the company also said it sold more than two million tickets for the tour in a single day.
Issues like those with Swift’s pre-sale in November — as well as long-simmering concerns about Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s market dominance — led to a ruthless Senate Judiciary hearing in January. Senators from both parties flatly called the company a monopoly and were skeptical of an executive’s explanation that Ticketmaster could not defend itself against an attack by bots during Swift’s presale.
“This is unbelievable,” Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn said at the hearing. “How come,” she added, “you haven’t developed an algorithm to figure out what’s a bot and what’s a consumer?”
Still, the demand for Swift tickets is extraordinary, with Swift selling out arenas everywhere she plays and tickets selling for thousands of dollars on the secondary market. She is scheduled to complete the North American leg of her tour next month and then play Latin America, Asia and Europe.
The Justice Department has separately conducted an antitrust investigation into Live Nation. The Justice Department has not confirmed that investigation, but Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has spoken openly about it.