On the morning of Monday, March 27, fans of the iconic American singer and songwriter Taylor Swift gathered outside a federal courtroom protesting against Ticketmaster. The fans rallied up, accusing the global entertainment company of deceiving them during a presale session of Taylor Swift’s musical event “Eras Tour.”
The Ticketmaster debacle started last fall around November when the portal failed to provide tickets to thousands of fans across the US for an alleged technical snag followed by the cancellation of the presale, leaving the fans aggrieved. Those fans are now coming to Los Angeles to sue Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, for violating consumer protection and antitrust laws. They have now gathered to testify about a civil lawsuit against the company, officially filed in December 2022 in Los Angeles County.
Nearly 300 plaintiffs have accused Ticketmaster of publishing fraudulent information and misleading consumers on its portal. More than 30 plaintiffs spoke at the hearing, including 25 who participated virtually. They spoke in length about the problems they faced and the kind of penalty they were seeking for the company, including at least 2.5K dollars as compensation to each.
Soon after the hearing ended, some of the fans gathered in a rally at the steps of the federal courthouse. They were displaying handmade placards and signs with barbed messages intended at Ticketmaster. Some fans revealed that they had put everything else on hold, even a doctor’s appointment, to get advanced tickets to the event. They are demanding an end to the monopoly of Ticketmaster to welcome a healthy ticket presale competition.
Ticketmaster left fans empty-handed after their relentless efforts for 48 hours to get a booking for the “Eras Tour.” The company is blaming an insane number of bot attacks behind the shutdown of the presale system. The company even said many fans didn’t have invite codes, which affected the system’s functioning. This crash left many verified fans disappointed who deserved a ticket. The next day, the portal experienced a surge in demands that it could not meet. Following this, the company was compelled to cancel the advanced public sale of the event, shutting down the system completely.
Jennifer A. Kinder, a personal injury attorney from Dallas and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, revealed on Monday that she is not seeking any class-action status. This is because she believes individual jury trials will be more effective in getting justice for the fans. The goal is to end Live Nation Entertainment’s rule in the US live entertainment industry so that a fan has a better chance of buying a ticket to any live show.
Live Nation Entertainment is currently being investigated for probable antitrust violations by the judicial department. The fans are hoping to hear the true reason behind the sudden collapse of the presale system for the company without any prior notice. They are accusing the company of not using the updated technology they should have if they were promising a presale to such a major event.
In this lawsuit, three lawyers represent the company, a small team compared to the fans protesting from different parts of the nation. The fans will continue their protest until they end the classism of Live Nation Entertainment as a company that has been limiting access of lower-income groups to live events with its staggering ticket prices and curbing choices for up-and-coming artists in the industry.