Here's why Taylor Swift fans have 'Sweet Nothing' instead of concert tickets

Posted at 10:35 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 23:22:55-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Taylor Swift fans are in uproar after two days of ticket pre-sale that ended with many Swifties empty-handed.

During Tuesday and Wednesday's pre-sale, many ticket-seekers would wait in an online queue for hours only to be kicked out, or many times told all tickets were gone by the time they reached the front.

"It started out with the 2,000 people ahead of you then finally after an hour and a half, I got in, then it said my code isn’t working. By the time they got everything fixed, the tickets were sold out," self-described Taylor Swift mega-fan Courtney Sawyer said.

Sawyer has used her Taylor Swift fandom Twitter and TikTok accounts to draw light to the issue that has been trending online.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been experiencing the issue now being called "The Great War," a tribute to a popular Taylor Swift song.

So, how are the tickets selling out quicker than fans can click buy? It's due partially to record consumer turnout, the near monopoly Ticketmaster has on concert sales and, according to a cybercrime expert, bots.

"Well it's most likely due to the use of bots. Bots are the type of software that runs automated and runs faster than a human being can. In the instance of concert tickets, they can sweep them all up before a regular person, consumers have a chance to buy them," cybercrime expert Thomas Holt said.

Lucky for Sawyer, her mom was able to get past the bots.

"But it doesn’t even feel like I can celebrate it right now because so many fans didn’t get tickets and so many of the bots bought tickets," Sawyer said.

This situation raises questions about legality.

"Technically, there’s nothing wrong with creating or using bots, but there have ben laws implemented in 2016, for instance, around the use of bots and concert tickets. So there have been attempts to at least minimize their use so that everyone has an equal opportunity to get something," Holt said.

Now "The Great War" is begging the question: should more be done legislatively?

With re-sale tickets now going for thousands of dollars online, Tennessee's attorney general is investigating anti-trust violations. The chairman of the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law tweeted, "It's no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly."

Holt recommends those who are struggling with tickets locally to document the experience and reach out to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Outside of that? It's like the Taylor Swift song "You're on Your Own Kid."

"Ticketmaster needs to go," Sawyer said.