Taylor Swift: Why is it so difficult to get tickets for the highly-anticipated UK Eras tour?

The concert is a three-hour long spectacle. Credit: AP

By Lily Ford, ITV News Multimedia Producer

Thousands of fans have already secured coveted spots in the crowd at Taylor Swift's highly-anticipated UK Eras tour.

Through pre-order album sales and pre-sale access codes, people have celebrated fighting through fierce competition to get tickets.

But others have so far been left without even an email from ticket providers, wondering if they will get the chance to see the global superstar next year at all.

Ticketmaster and AXS have issued warnings that the demand for tickets far supersedes the supply for the 13 shows Swift is scheduled for in the UK.

It has proved a complicated system to navigate and often relies on dumb luck.

General sale tickets went live on Monday and have been up for grabs at specific time since - here is why there are no guarantees when it comes to Swift's tour.

  • 'Midnights' pre-order fans given first access

The 33-year-old's 10th studio album dropped in October last year.

At the time, she promised those who pre-ordered the album exclusive early access to her tour tickets.

And she kept that promise - those who pre-ordered Midnights were sent ticket sale codes on Thursday, July 6.

They were, therefore, first in the queue when the Midnights pre-order sale went live in the week beginning July 10.

But despite being in that group, some still reported being 35,000th in the queue on Ticketmaster, and many were booted off the site for no apparent reason.

Midnights pre-order fans and everyone else had to be registered for a specific city (London, Liverpool, Cardiff, or Edinburgh) and venue by 11.59pm on June 22 for a chance at a ticket.

Now that pre-order fans have been seen to, access codes have been sent - at random - to those registered for the general sale, which first went live on Monday.

Swift's popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Credit: AP

Everyone else has been placed on the waitlist and will be invited to join the sale "after selected fans have shopped," according to Ticketmaster.

Some have even reported not receiving any information at all.

  • Ticketmaster's US tour disaster and staggered sales

Ticketmaster were infamously forced to cancel the general sale for Swift's US tour last year, citing “insufficient ticket inventory” to meet “extraordinarily high demands”.

The ticket company had previously asked fans on Twitter to be patient as “millions” tried to secure seats in the US, causing “historically unprecedented demand”.

But the site eventually crashed, and the provider said it did not have enough tickets.

Fans reported being shocked by steep prices for tickets - some in the thousands as demand increased - and a US Senate special committee eventually held a hearing to examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.

To avoid the website crashing again, Ticketmaster have staggered the sale of tickets in the UK.

The sales have been going live across multiple weeks and in increments throughout the day.

On Monday, for example, London's Wembley tickets for the date of Friday, June 24 are on sale from 11am, and Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium for Friday, June 7 at 1pm, for example.

  • High demand and Swift's rapidly-growing popularity

Swift has been in the public eye a long time.

Her first album, Taylor Swift, released when she was just 17 in 2006, and she has steadily built a huge fanbase.

But that fanbase has boomed in recent years, and Swift is now one of the best-selling female artists of all-time - she recently surpassed Barbra Streisand as the woman with the most number one albums in Billboard history.

A Nashville local, Swift is well-known for writing openly about her past relationships and fan intrigue is bolstered by the fact many of them were with other celebrities - Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, and Tom Hiddleston, to name a few.

Swift poses in the press room with the Grammy for album of the year in 2021. Credit: AP

Only recently, fans were distraught to learn Swift had broken up with her long-time boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, after her romance with the British actor inspired multiple albums and tens of heartfelt tunes.

It may seem trivial, but her relationship history is truly vital when trying to dissect her blooming popularity.

Swift has accrued global support for reclaiming her vulnerable songwriting process after years of public scrutiny for consistently "using" ex-boyfriends as album material.

And it is important to note that the illusion of accessibility to Swift's private life, through her music, has cultivated an incredibly strong bond with her fans, widely-known as Swifties.

On top of this, social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok have allowed for an enormous amount of exposure for Swift - viral videos, fan interactions, and glimpses of the tour have put tickets in high-demand.

The concert is a three-hour long spectacle, documenting her musical journey, meaningful relationships, and rise to worldwide fame through some of the decade's best-selling songs.

Wembley Stadium doubles as a popular concert venue. Credit: PA
  • Stadium capacity and accessibility

An estimated 750,076 tickets are available for the UK tour.

According to projections from Buzz Bingo, a predicted 2.9 million UK-based fans were set to register for a ticket, based on Ticketmaster data of how many people tried to get tickets in the US.

This would leave 75% of those registered without tickets by the time sales are finished.

Another key issue with the venues themselves is access for disabled fans.

This is because tickets for disabled fans are not available on Ticketmaster, but are bought by calling up the specific venue directly.

And the already-high demand has made it increasingly difficult to get hold of the venues.

One disabled Swift fan took to Twitter and wrote: "I just don’t know how it’s possible at this point.

"I've done something like 3,000 calls, been on hold a collective 5 hours, filled in the callback form for every date yesterday and today, tried the premium number. All to no avail."

Another fan, Saryna Glazebrook, who has Ehlers Danlos syndrome, told the BBC last week she called Wembley over 200 times to get on the access line.

Wembley has insisted there is a call-back system in place for those who are not able to wait in the lengthy phone queues.

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