NEWS

The Justice Department wants to ‘break up Live Nation.’ Taylor Swift fans are ready for it.

Frustration over the ticketing company began to boil over in late 2022 as fans complained about overloaded presale queues for the domestic leg of Swift’s 2023 "Eras Tour."

Two years ago, many Taylor Swift fans launched an online campaign with one big goal: break up Ticketmaster.

After news broke that the Justice Department sued Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, some Swifties said they felt like their mobilization efforts paid off.

“It shows the power of bringing people together who have something in common, and it might not be what you would expect they have in common,” said Stephanie Aly, a writer and digital organizer in New York.

The 34-year-old was among the Swifties who banded together in 2022 to collect thousands of survey responses from fellow fans who shared negative similar experiences with Ticketmaster.

Swifties are “out there getting people to vote in the VMAs and buy albums on release day and all that kind of stuff,” Aly said. “So what if we could point that energy towards something that can make a bigger difference than just album sales?”

Frustration over the ticketing company began to boil over in late 2022 after overloaded presale queues for the domestic leg of Swift’s 2023 “Eras Tour” caused the site to crash and led Ticketmaster to cancel the sale. The fiasco soon drew the attention of Swift herself, who called it “excruciating” to watch. It prompted an apology from Ticketmaster and a promise to grant a second opportunity for some fans to snag the tickets they missed.

For years, fans have complained about Ticketmaster, which has effectively become the default ticketing platform for many artists. Live Nation, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, controls an estimated 70% of the ticketing and live-event venues market, though the companies have disputed that figure.

Many artists have also pushed for ticketing reform at a federal level with no luck. Pearl Jam tried to push the issue forward 30 years ago when the rock band’s members testified before Congress, saying Ticketmaster had refused to agree to low concert ticket prices and fees. The case was dismissed a year later, but Ticketmaster’s dominance has persisted over the decades that followed.

See also  Tucker Carlson WORLD FIRST Interview Since Leaving Fox!

But it was the Swifties who proved to be a powerful force in driving the momentum and helping get more people to pay attention.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in January 2023 examining Ticketmaster’s dominance in the ticketing industry. During the bipartisan hearing, which probed whether Ticketmaster’s outsize control has unfairly hurt customers, even senators couldn’t refrain from making references to Swift.

Swift fans are “very good at bonding together, using their own time and resources to solve problems,” said Jeff Harden, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame.

“They’re also very digitally literate,” said Harden, who co-authored a study published in March on how Swifties’ personal grievances against Ticketmaster mobilized a sizable throng of unlucky fans toward taking political action.

He described Swifties as “some of the most intense fans of any musical artist or sports team or anything else that I’ve ever witnessed personally.”

“So when all those things come together, you’ve got a really powerful group,” Harden said.

As aggrieved “Eras Tour” ticket buyers began to organize against Ticketmaster online, Swifties brought forth two major lawsuits against Live Nation in December 2022, just a month after the initial ticketing disaster.

One class-action suit was dropped at the end of last year, while another suit, filed together by 355 individual ticket buyers, is stalled as it awaits a ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit alleges that Live Nation has engaged in practices that harm the entire live entertainment industry — from artists and fans to venues and startups seeking to break into the business. In a statement, Live Nation said that the Justice Department’s allegations were “baseless” and that its actions would prove counterproductive.

See also  What Happened to Daniel Gerhart? Death and Obituary Linked To Climbing Accident

Some Swifties on Thursday celebrated the news on social media.

“doj planning to split up ticketmaster and live nation?? yay for literally everyone ever who wanted tickets for an event,” the Swifties Want Tickets fan account wrote on X. “theyre literally huge monopolies and need to be broken up”

“Corrupt business practices plague every show, but I think the spotlight Swifties put on Ticketmaster, starting in 2022, helped push the DOJ to take action,” another X user wrote.

A spokesperson for Live Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday regarding the reaction from Swift’s fanbase.

Jennifer Kinder, an attorney (and self-described Swiftie) representing hundreds of plaintiffs in their lawsuit against Ticketmaster, said the company “definitely messed with the wrong fanbase.”

“For the first time ever, Swifties and the members of this cause of action are being validated by what we’ve been complaining about for a year and a half,” she said. “It certainly is nice, and a moment to rejoice, that the Department of Justice agrees with Swifties in the United States that consumers are ripped off, stolen from and marginalized in the live entertainment industry.”

Kinder said this new lawsuit — filed in the Southern District of New York and backed by attorneys general of 29 states plus Washington, D.C. — marks a major win for Swift’s fan base, who have been some of the most vocal in fighting this political battle.

“You don’t mess with Swifties. Everyone knows that, right?” Kinder said, before referencing a song from Swift’s latest album “The Tortured Poets Department.” “Who’s afraid of little old Swifties? Well, I’m here to tell you that somebody ought to be, because we’re not going away.”

See also  Idiot, Jill Biden’s Ex-Husband Comes Back To Haunt Her – ‘I Can’t Let Them Do What They Did To Me To President Trump’

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *