Taylor Swift tickets go on sale this week in one of the most hotly-anticipated releases ever, and Viagogo exec Cris Miller writes for City A.M. saying it shows need for the industry to reform
A storm is heading across the Atlantic to Europe.
‘Hurricane Taylor’ has already made a major impact in the US and, despite spending my whole career in live events, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour makes landfall here next year, the entire music, events and ticket industry will be tested like never before.
Eras is expected to be the highest grossing tour of all time with a projected $1.5bn (£1.17bn) in box office takings before it concludes at Wembley in August 2024.
Yes, Taylor Swift can say she’s bigger than the Beatles.
Economic research in the US shows that ‘Swifties’ have boosted consumer spending by more than $4.5bn around the Eras Tour concerts. Local economies have benefited enormously; Chicago reporting its highest-ever hotel occupancy rate last month when the tour rolled in for three nights. In Australia, there are now even hopes from some that the so-called “TSwift Lift” can help the country avoid recession.
Tickets go on pre-sale for European dates tomorrow. Demand will far outstrip supply, with millions of people joining virtual queues for hours on end. Quite apart from the aggravation, research shows ticketing queues already cost the Australian economy more than £150 million in lost productivity costs, based on approximately four million hopeful fans spending an hour in the primary ticket queue.
As the world’s leading ticket marketplace, we anticipate large numbers of tickets will then be listed for resale on our viagogo platform. Sellers, who set the price they’re looking for, will likely pitch high values at this peak moment for the hottest ticket in recent times.
But in a market, prices change and often reduce over time. We recommend fans wait for demand to settle and see if a listing meets their budget.
Sadly I expect some will pursue more expensive options, such as “VIP packages” believing they’ll have a better chance of getting in. The lack of information quickly becomes the greatest contributor to the ticket buying hysteria.
We believe the industry must do more to put fans first.
Too often, we don’t know how many dates an artist might add, the number of tickets actually available to the public in the first place (after sponsors, members, industry and corporate hospitality) and when and how they will be released.
Event-goers need more transparency from the businesses in control.
Ultimately, no fan should ever have to reach into a black market alleyway. It should be our collective responsibility to provide safe options to attend The Eras Tour, with the flexibility to purchase on a platform that you choose and trust.
Fans also need to be given the flexibility to let another Swiftie attend and not be out of pocket if their plans change. viagogo’s role is to provide a regulated and compliant platform for legitimate exchange to take place, backed by a guarantee of getting in or your money back.
The record-breaking US leg of Taylor Swift’s tour highlighted many of these lessons. We’ll be doing everything in our power to make sure it’s not a Cruel Summer for Swifties in the UK and across Europe next year – I just hope the whole music and events industry can say the same.