Fan Frenzy: Is technology helping or hindering?

Rebecca StanisicSo, parents, you may or may not have noticed that Taylor Swift has announced a tour that will in fact include six Toronto dates.

Ohhhh, you have noticed? Because you tried to get nearly impossible-to-get tickets like 38 million other people did?

Yeah, you aren’t alone.

That was quite the process and one that looks different than it did 20 years ago when we were ticket hunting for shows, right? I wasn’t even trying to get tickets for my family (although we love a great Taylor Swift song, or many songs, we aren’t full-fledged Swifties) BUT I was trying to get tickets for a family member who really wanted to go. I was unsuccessful.

Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and
Live Music Photographer

There was outrage when the Eras Tour dates were announced with no Canadian dates. Then a Swift fever swept the country when dates were announced, but only for Toronto, with six shows planned for November 2024.

It didn’t take long for the Facebook page groups and Instagram stories to be filled with tips about scoring tickets, which felt both like a rush and the most anxiety-filled thing ever.

By the end, it seemed like everyone needed an advanced degree in Ticketmaster to get tickets and even then…few did. If you pre-signed up for the raffle system, you had a chance. If you had a credit card with a certain bank, your odds maybe increased. The raffle system baffled many but ultimately with so many fans and so few tickets (despite the impressive number of shows coming to Toronto), many were left heartbroken (parents and kids).

I’m sure there have been a lot of interesting conversations around family dinner tables or when consoling upset fans. Is there a better system? Is there one that’s more fair? And one that makes us all think: if you did win in the raffle and got tickets, should you sell them for a mark up and make money? Oh, the ethical considerations! The financial ones!

Online ticketing comes with so many challenges, but people have also been coming up with some crafty ways to get engaged. These Taylor Swift ticketing difficulties sparked fans to get engaged as consumers and stand up to Ticketmaster, organizing a protest outside a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. And back in 2020, K-pop fans and TikTok users reportedly showed how ticketing systems can be used for digital citizenship by booking free tickets to a political rally, leaving hundreds of seats empty.

It used to be a simple process – line up and hope to get a ticket – but now consumers need to be tech savvy to access events like this and they’re engaging in creative ways to bite back at the systems. It’s kind of cool to see!

If you did manage to get Taylor Swift tickets for Toronto, congrats! I have no doubt you’re beyond excited and it will be amazing.

If you didn’t, you’re left hoping for resale or maybe the next best option: book your tickets to the theatre performance showings that are coming in October and November. If it’s any consolation, you’ll enjoy popcorn and a comfortable seat at least!

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