Fans trying to buy tickets online for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour were met with long virtual lines on Ticketmaster. (Screenshot by Jade Cooks)

Taylor Swift’s Columbia fans eager to get tickets to her Eras Tour on Nov. 15 were met with website crashes and long wait times this week causing Ticketmaster to cancel general sale. 

The 52-stop tour is her first since 2018, and the closest shows for Carolina Swifties are in Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee. The general sale was supposed to begin on Nov. 18. but due to the “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory,” the public on-sale was canceled, Ticketmaster announced in a tweet. 

With Swift’s over-the-top popularity, how could the website NOT have problems? 

Fans picked for a pre-sale from a lottery received an email sometime Monday from Ticketmaster saying they qualified and a text later that gave them pre-sale code. Fans with a Capital One card had another pre-sale on Wednesday. 

“On Monday, I got my pre-sale code at 2 p.m. — I was really early in the cycle,” Emma Connelly, 18, a freshman broadcast major at USC, said. “So I think, oh, I should be pretty good. I’m gonna get tickets. I got super excited.” 

Connelly never got tickets. But she spent the entire day trying. 

Fans were on the website long before the queue opened, though, and it crashed for some at 9:55 a.m. 

Even after the site was fixed, fans were stuck in the queue for hours. Sometimes the queue would move fast. Other times, fans’ place in line would barely change for hours.

“I didn’t get into buying tickets until probably around 4, and I started this process at 9:30 in the morning,” said Allie Elsey, a 20-year-old junior mass communications major at USC.

Lucky fans were able to get through the system quickly and get a ticket at the original price of $49. Others found barely any tickets left or were forced into nosebleeds or seats behind the stage, Elsey said. 

Despite getting through the queue, Elsey said when she tried to buy a ticket the website kept saying “someone had already bought it.” She tried more than 20 times to get a ticket with no luck. 

Other fans were upset with websites such as Stubhub buying tickets and reselling them for “exorbitant” prices. 

“It’s insanely frustrating that people who got verified (through) pre-sale and bought a code are buying up tickets just so they can sell them for thousands of dollars when nobody can afford that,” Connelly said. “I don’t think Ticketmaster should be allowing that, and neither should the resale websites.”

Ticketmaster released a statement to Carolina News and Reporter about the pre-sale.

“Millions of fans registered for Taylor Swift Eras Verified Fan Presale, with demand more than twice the number of tickets available,” Ticketmaster said. “This caused some delays for fans which we know is frustrating and we worked as quickly as possible to adjust some onsale times to manage the volume. …. We thank everyone for their patients as we continue to work through the biggest onsale in history.” 

The tour was announced after Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights, which quickly became the most streamed album in 24 hours in Spotify history. The Eras Tour is rumored to be focused on her 10 albums and will feature artists such as Phoebe Bridgers, Paramore and girl in red.

Fans still have a chance to buy tickets when they go on general sale on Friday.