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Karma for Taylor Swift fans as Ticketmaster offers second chance for ‘Eras Tour’ tickets

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Ticketmaster no longer wants to be the “Anti-Hero” to Taylor Swift fans. At the request of Swift’s team, the ticket seller said on Monday that some fans will have a “limited opportunity” to purchase a maximum of two tickets each to her upcoming “Eras” tour. 

“You were selected for this opportunity because you have been identified as a fan who received a boost during the Verified Fan presale but did not purchase tickets,” Ticketmaster wrote in an email to a group of fans Monday. “We apologize for the difficulties you may have experienced, and have been asked by Taylor’s team to create this additional opportunity for you to purchase tickets.”

Many fans took screenshots of the email and posted it on Twitter, sharing their excitement about getting another opportunity to snag tickets to Swift’s 2023 U.S. tour, which kicks off in March. 

The news comes one month after the public sale of Swift’s “Eras Tour” was canceled due to “extraordinarily high demand.” Ticketmaster claimed that 3.5 million fans pre-registered for Swift’s Verified Fan program, the largest registration in its history. The company cited high demand and a “staggering number of bot attacks,” resulting in 3.5 billion system requests, or four times their previous peak.

The fumbled presale reignited fan frustration toward Ticketmaster, particularly among those who signed up as “verified fans,” which means they are able to enter a lottery to buy tickets for certain shows. Ticketmaster has said doing so helps to “ensure that more tickets go to the fans who will actually attend the event,” by granting them access to tickets before the public sale. After they register as a “verified fan,” Ticketmaster provides them with a code and a link to the purchase site. When tickets go on sale, the link leads fans to a “Smart Queue” that “keeps ticket bots out.” Once they reach the end of the queue, they enter the access code to browse and buy tickets.

But last month, many of those “verified fans” seeking tickets were subjected to hourslong waits and a website that sometimes crashed, sending them back to the beginning of a virtual queue with thousands ahead of them. Some fans of Swift are now suing Live Nation Entertainment, alleging the ticketing giant “intentionally and purposefully misled ticket purchasers” by failing to protect the presale from scalpers.

Swift apologized in an Instagram story, saying it was “excruciating” for her “to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.” Ticketmaster also tweeted a formal apology to “Taylor and all of her fans” for the “terrible” ticketing experience after the cancellation of the public sale, saying they felt they owed the public an explanation.

On Monday, Ticketmaster doubled down on its apology, writing on its website, “We apologize for the difficulties you may have experienced, and have been asked by Taylor’s team to create this additional opportunity for you to purchase tickets. Notified fans will receive their individual invite to submit their purchase request prior to Friday, December 23. Invitations will be staggered by tour dates in each city.”

When asked for further comment, a spokesperson for Ticketmaster referred NBC News to its website.

Some fans said they were appreciative of Swift’s team’s efforts to try and alleviate the frustration they felt last month when attempting to get tickets. 

Raghav Kalra, a senior at Columbia University in New York City, said he had a “weird inkling” that the artist would do “something like this.” 

“AND THIS IS WHY WE ALWAYS TRUST MOTHER,” he tweeted, thanking Swift.

“This is much more manageable because then they [Ticketmaster] don’t have a lot of traffic on their site and they just basically send people in for tickets, who actually need the tickets,” Kalra, who last month unsuccessfully waited in the virtual queue for Swift tickets for several hours, said. 

He described it as a “good system,” though he added things could still “go wrong” with this next attempt to score tickets.

Krista Ferrara, a longtime “Swiftie” from Texas, also said she’s very “appreciative” of the chance to get tickets again. Monday’s email “surprised” her, and she initially thought it could be a scam.

“I cried at work when the pre-sale didn’t go through before,” said Ferrara, who estimated she spent two days — approximately 16 hours — trying to buy tickets to one of the Arlington, Texas, shows. She described the process of trying to get a ticket like “running a marathon.”

But Ferrara said she feels like Ticketmaster could have avoided the chaos from the get-go.

“They should stagger the codes like they should have done in the first place and have people put in the codes before they were in the queue,” she said. “And let us see, OK, what seats are available? And [then] pick.”

— Morgan Sung and Rob Wile contributed.

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