Another day, another fan base furious at Ticketmaster and its “Verified Fan” system. Olivia Rodrigo fans were all over Twitter Friday morning, angry at Ticketmaster and “Verified Fan” following an extraordinarily stressful, buggy, and failure-prone ticket sales process, this one for her long-awaited Sour Tour dates in the United States.

Rodrigo, who was nominated for seven Grammy Awards in November, announced the Sour Tour Monday, tweeting her excitement of finally being able to mount the long-delayed tour in the wake of her wildly successful album, which was released in May. Her Sour Tour kicks off at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. with stops including Colorado’s Mission Ballroom, Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and LA’s Greek Theatre. In June, the tour heads overseas with stops in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, Holland, Ireland and the UK.

The singer’s fans were directed to register for Verified Fan this week, in order to gauge demand and supposedly weed out those who would just purchase for resale. After being informed of either getting a code or being waitlisted on Thursday, her fans were at the ready Friday morning, looking to score their chance to see the singer live.

It didn’t go well, judging by their reactions. From technical glitches booting people out of the queues, to surge pricing, to outrageous “platinum” priced tickets being all that was left (or none being left at all despite being “verified” for the sale, the complaints have come on fast and furious on social media.

A sampling:

This week alreadys saw massive fan outrage from a different Verified Fan sale, as Adele’s Las Vegas dates went live on Wednesday (after technical delays from its initial sales date of Tuesday), but enormous pricing surge tactics caused some fans to walk away, even if they had made it through the queues for a coveted chance to purchase tickets to the limited run.

Verified Fan has become an increasingly common tool put out by Ticketmaster. The Live Nation Entertainment-owned ticketing company portrays the registration system as the best way to ensure that tickets get to “real fans,” but has a long track record of angry actual fans in its wake while tickets continue to show up on legal resale marketplaces anyways. In practice, the system is really designed to gauge demand, in order for pricing surge systems to be properly deployed at moments where fans feel they will lose out entirely if they don’t pay whatever price the ticketing company is displaying. In a new wrinkle, both Adele and Rodrigo’s team made it known even before the “Verified Fan” registration was closed that they weren’t planning on making any tickets available to the general public.

It’s increasingly obvious that Verified Fan is nothing other than an engine to trigger increased “fear of missing out” by implying demand is enormous. That allows prices to be dynamically pushed to the stratosphere during the initial rush. In some cases, the demand isn’t made up (Adele’s tickets are already going for a mint on secondary websites), but that isn’t always the case – just look at the infamous Taylor Swift Reputation Tour that saw thousands of tickets sold at deep discounts or even given away to keep the singer from performing in front of half-empty buildings on some stops – all after her biggest fans paid top dollar because they were misled about the actual number of tickets available.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Tour will see full buildings, no doubt. And the artist and her team undoubtedly captured quite a lot of revenue with the dynamic surges in price. But a notable cross-section of the developing artist’s fan base certainly felt the sting on Friday, and may think twice about the next time tickets come around.

Olivia Rodrigo Sour Tour Tickets (Resale Marketplace Links)

For those who didn’t score tickets or even a code, the following websites have tickets listed for resale. (In some instances, TicketNews may receive a commission if you click a link and later purchase tickets)

TicketClub (TicketNews free membership offer here)
Vivid Seats

Last Updated on December 10, 2021