They were meant to be birthday presents. They were to be Christmas presents. They were meant to be the most special treats for young Taylor Swift fans.
Instead, for many parents, the Ticketmaster debacle they endured on Tuesday trying to score concert tickets has left them empty-handed and frustrated — and their children disappointed.
“I was trying to buy tickets so my best friend and I could take our tweens to their first gig and literally waited all day to finally get in to buy tickets and there wasn’t a single ticket left,” Micah Woods , who lives near Little Rock, Arkansas, said Wednesday.
Others who fought on computers eventually scored, some after being kicked out of the online queue multiple times or struggling with error messages.
“I was pretty tired afterwards. Just the stress,” Natasha Mitchner said in Dayton, Ohio. “But it’s worth it. She puts on a good show.”
After nearly six hours in the queue, Mitchner crazily picked up tickets for herself and her two daughters, ages 17 and 20. She rushed for a fourth bonus ticket to be used by her husband or a friend of the children. This will be the fourth time the Swiftie family has seen her live.
“My 20-year-old son said even though you don’t understand them, I still love you,” Mitchner said with a laugh. “It’s kind of our thing to do together. I would have been upset. I just tried to be calm.
Emails to Ticketmaster spokespersons were not immediately returned on Wednesday. In a tweet tuesdaythe company called the demand “historically unprecedented” with millions trying to buy.
Fresh off one of the biggest album launches of her career, Swift announced earlier this month that she was embarking on a new US stadium tour starting next year, with dates international to follow. Fans who received a special code after registering had exclusive access to purchase tickets on Wednesday, ahead of Friday sales for the rest of the public.
The 27-date Eras Tour kicks off March 18 in Glendale, Arizona, and concludes with two nights in Los Angeles on August 4-5. This is Swift’s first tour since 2018.
“It was sad. It was so sad,” said Vivica Williams in Clarksville, Maryland.
She lost her 14 year old daughter and a friend. The girls were in gym class when tickets went on sale, so mom was put in charge of the job. The Philadelphia show was going to be a birthday present.
“They were so excited. I tried to climb and I tried to climb on it. It crashes and it crashes and it crashes and it crashes. And so finally, finally I get in the queue, and I’m like yay! Then, oh, there’s over 2,000 people ahead of you in line,” Williams said.
She was kicked out of the queue four or five times, after logging in around 9.30am, 30 minutes before the sale.
“I’ve never been over 2,000 people online. So finally around 2:30 I gave up. I’m like, forget it, I’m a grown person. I can’t stay here all day with Taylor Swift on my phone,” Williams said. “I was complaining to my daughter all the time. Like, it’s for the birds.
With another chance for tickets on Friday, she’s already warned the younger ones: “It’s up to you now, girls.”
And with presale tickets up for grabs in the middle of a school day, Williams wasn’t the only parent left with work.
Jonathan Hickman of Knoxville, Tennessee, managed to land a pair of tickets for his 15-year-old daughter after performing, as his wife Katie Allison described it, “crazy Ticketmaster magic” all day.
The tickets, for a show in Nashville, were supposed to be a Christmas present — and their daughter’s first gig without parents — but they went ahead and told her now.
“If you’ve ever wondered what teenage girls screaming with incredible excitement for the Beatles sounded like, I can now describe the sound to you in a way that I’m sure is pretty accurate,” Allison wrote on Facebook. “We still don’t know how Jon did this. We are a bit in shock. But boy, it’s fun to see your daughter WHO is excited about the music.
—Leanne Italy, Associated Press