Music has been a huge part of my life. Ever since I was a kid, I have been going to concerts. The first concert I went to was New Kids On The Block in Toronto with my mom after she won tickets on the radio. As I grew up, my mom and aunts would find any opportunity to take me to shows nearby, and then I started going on my own with friends.
The experience that comes with attending a concert cannot be matched to listening to music at home. With the loud speakers, the sound of the crowd singing, cheering, and dancing along to the songs with you, the experience can give you goosebumps. It’s something everyone should be able to experience at least once in their life.
However, this experience is starting to become more and more unattainable as prices for concert tickets are turning into hundreds or thousands of dollars. Ticketmaster is one of the most used platforms for purchasing tickets and comes with a cost.
While there are other ticket purchasing websites available, due to contracts with venues, Ticketmaster is often the only option for consumers to see the artist they want to. Usually the bigger the artist, the higher the chance a consumer will have to go to a venue through Ticketmaster.
This creates problems as it means Ticketmaster can essentially charge whatever they want. The public has seen this happen too many times, especially last year with artists like Taylor Swift.
The peak of this conversation came around November when Swift announced her Eras Tour on social media. Her tour sold out in a matter of days, as over 2 million tickets were sold. Almost all tickets were sold with the presale code that fans signed up for days ahead to tell them their purchase date.
My friend had the presale code and was ready to go. She waited in an online queue with over 2,000 people in front of her. Once she got to the front, it glitched and put her at the back of the line as Ticketmaster crashed due to unprecedented demand.
The volume Ticketmaster saw was four times the amount they previously had in peaks for other events as over 3.5 billion were on the site. Many bots were on the website as well, which gave a smaller chance for real people to actually get tickets. Due to this demand, Ticketmaster rescheduled their West Coast sales from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. My friend was able to get tickets, but others weren’t as lucky. Depending on the seat, Swift tickets ranged from $49 to $449. However, the only option was nosebleeds starting at $125.
For those seats in a stadium, that is a high price to pay and I’m sure Ticketmaster knows it. Scalpers also contribute to high prices, as these tickets are being sold for thousands of dollars on reseller sites due to the demand.
Problems with the queue have happened in the past, like with the Ed Sheeran concerts in 2021 and last year. When I tried to purchase tickets last year for the +-=÷x Tour, I waited 30-minutes in the line and once I reached zero, the website glitched and I was bumped to the back of the line. This meant I had less of a chance of getting a good seat or a ticket at all.
This system is flawed and needs to change. If this continues and prices keep increasing, nobody will be able to see live shows anymore. Yes, concerts are a luxury, but you should be able to spend a reasonable amount to see a show you enjoy and have a break from everyday life. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to attend.