Music Column

Taylor Swift’s new system of selling concert tickets snakes out fans

Daily Orange File Illustration

Updated: Sep. 7 at 12:43 a.m.

Taylor Swift, known for her regular release of music, has been hiding for the past few months.

Swift has only recently been thrown back in the spotlight with the release of her new track “Look What You Made Me Do,” and the much-anticipated upcoming release of her new album “Reputation.”

Swift will eventually go on tour with this album, like her past tours this one is expected to sell out. She wants her “most dedicated” fans to get tickets first, so she decided to use Ticketmaster’s “verified fan” system.

Artists, like Bruce Springsteen, have used this system, which uses an algorithm to find those that are “real fans,” as opposed to bots or ticket scalpers. These fans are given priority on a virtual line to purchase tickets. They are not guaranteed tickets, but they are guaranteed a spot in a queue.

The problem with this method lies within how T-Swift fans are supposed to prove they are real fans. They can do several things, such as preorder the CD of her upcoming album “Reputation,” buy merchandise from her online shop or watch her new video several times. You are even allowed to buy the album “13” times to boost your spot in line.

This is not a strategy to get tickets in the hands of her real fans: Swift is trying to get as much money as possible out of those who want to see her in concert. Getting tickets for a concert shouldn’t be a competition of who can spend the most amount of money. The desire to avoid bots and ticket scalpers is a valid concern, but the method is forced and unfair to those who don’t have the kind of money for CDs and merchandise.

On another note, what if there’s a fan out there, but not one that’s so die-hard Taylor Swift, that wants to see her in concert? I’ve gone to concerts where I was not the biggest fan of the artist, but still wanted to make an effort to see him or her live. This kind of person isn’t going to participate in “boost activities,” and they won’t get a good place in the online queue.

To top it off, these fans are fighting for the chance to buy the best ticket out there. The boost activities don’t even guarantee the tickets that the fan wants, and it sucks that Swift fans who want to see her perform might not be able to because they can’t afford her expensive merchandise.

This is a widely debated topic right now, and a lot of people think it’s a good way to avoid ticket scalpers. In reality, it’s just a way for Swift to make more money — a game, that if I ever had any desire to see her in concert, I would not participate in.

All annoyingly-catchy music aside, the drama that comes with Swift as a person and as an artist does not make her stardom worthwhile. Hearing about all of her breakups and heartaches over and over again is simply old news, which is what Swift will be if she doesn’t mend her fences.

Phoebe Smith is a senior public relations major. Her column appears biweekly in Pulp. You can email her at or follow her on Twitter @phoebesmithh5.


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