A group of Taylor Swift fans descended on Los Angeles this week, gathering outside while the first hearing was held on a lawsuit that more than two dozen fans of the singer filed against Ticketmaster in the wake of the botched Eras Tour presale in the fall of 2022. The lawsuit, one of many filed in the wake of that high profile failure by the ticketing giant, is centered around claims that Ticketmaster and parent Live Nation Entertainment operate as a monopoly, taking advantage of fans hoping to see their favorite artists in person through inflated pricing schemes.

“These are really just families who have kids and tried hard and followed all the rules to try and purchase tickets and in most cases they were unable to purchase any or if they did, they paid such an exorbitant price, that it violates the antitrust provisions of the laws that were enacted by our country,” said Jennifer Kinder, plaintiff’s attorney.

Monday was a “status hearing” on the case, where the consumers filing the lawsuits did not ask for class action status, though they reserved the right to do so. The plaintiffs are asking for Ticketmaster to award impacted consumers at least $2,500 each in damages due to the failures of the sales process, but explain that the legal effort is more about forcing change in the current ticketing system to help future consumers avoid such problematic rollouts for live event tickets. There are expected to be more than 300 plaintiffs tied to the case by the end of the month.

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“I tried in total of 41 times that first day to get tickets. It kicks you out into the queue and you’re back in and then I kept getting errors,” lead plaintiff Julie Barfuss told CNN. “Then, I again spent a couple hours trying to do it the second day. When I finally got in and was going to buy tickets, they were like $1400.”

Naturally, Ticketmaster will make its usual effort to compel the matter be pushed to arbitration. It has used this forced arbitration – required to be agreed upon for anyone who purchases tickets on their systems as part of the purchasing process – to dodge consumer lawsuits in the past, including during the ongoing Taylor Swift fallout. Its lawyers argue that consumers who buy tickets on their platform has forfeited their right to sue the company in the event of any disagreement.

Such arbitration rules are the center of numerous legal claims against Ticketmaster, which lawyers representing clients trying to sue the company claim is unfairly biased towards the company by its very nature. One editorial referred to the arbitration rules as “Kafkaesque” in nature, as the process involves a rushed process where three cases out of the many filed in any instance (such as the Swift mess) are heard, with limitations on discovery and document entry that make it near-impossible to make a suitable case.

“The expedited bellwether process does not give claimants a fair shake,” according to a brief filed in one lawsuit arguing against the forced arbitration due to its unfair tilt towards the industry giant at the center of the blizzard of consumer lawsuits. “These “absurd” limitations… make it nearly impossible for bellwether claimants to meet antitrust pleading standards in their individual cases – let alone protect the interests of all of the other claimants, current and future, who will be bound by rulings from the bellwether proceedings.”

The Taylor Swift Eras Tour mess continues to roil for Ticketmaster, even as the artist gets shows underway, having performed the first two weekends of shows, with two each in Arizona and Las Vegas and three more in Texas from Friday through Sunday. Despite the initial sales mess that caused Ticketmaster to cancel the general sale for tickets entirely, thousands of tickets have continued to be dripped out into the marketplace as shows have approached, as suspected.

Meanwhile, consumers continue to try to break through the arbitration wall seeking legal relief, while lawmakers push to hold the ticketing and entertainment giant to a higher standard either through a forced breakup if the Department of Justice finds justification in its ongoing antitrust investigation, or through the introduction of new laws regulating ticketing at both the federal and local level.

Taylor Swift tour information and ticket links are included below:

Taylor Swift Ticket Links

Taylor Swift tickets at MEGASeats.com | 10% Off Using Code TICKETNEWS
Taylor Swift tickets at Scorebig
Taylor Swift tickets at SeatGeek
Taylor Swift tickets at StubHub
Taylor Swift tickets at Ticket Club Free Membership Offer use code TICKETNEWS
Taylor Swift tickets at Vivid Seats

Taylor Swift The Eras Tour Dates

Friday, March 31 – Arlington, TX | AT&T Stadium %+
Saturday, April 1 – Arlington, TX | AT&T Stadium %+
Sunday, April 2 – Arlington, TX | AT&T Stadium %+
Thursday, April 13 – Tampa, FL | Raymond James Stadium %+
Friday, April 14 – Tampa, FL | Raymond James Stadium %+
Saturday, April 15 – Tampa, FL | Raymond James Stadium %+
Friday, April 21 – Houston, TX | NRG Stadium %+
Saturday, April 22 – Houston, TX | NRG Stadium %+
Sunday, April 23 – Houston, TX | NRG Stadium %+
Friday, April 28 – Atlanta, GA | Mercedes-Benz Stadium %+
Saturday, April 29 – Atlanta, GA | Mercedes-Benz Stadium %+
Sunday, April 30 – Atlanta, GA | Mercedes-Benz Stadium %+
Friday, May 5 – Nashville, TN | Nissan Stadium $&
Saturday, May 6 – Nashville, TN | Nissan Stadium $&
Sunday, May 7 – Nashville, TN | Nissan Stadium $&
Friday, May 12 – Philadelphia, PA | Lincoln Financial Field $&
Saturday, May 13 – Philadelphia, PA | Lincoln Financial Field $&
Sunday, May 14 – Philadelphia, PA | Lincoln Financial Field $&
Friday, May 19 – Foxborough, MA | Gillette Stadium $&
Saturday, May 20 – Foxborough, MA | Gillette Stadium $&
Sunday, May 21 – Foxborough, MA | Gillette Stadium $&
Friday, May 26 – E. Rutherford, NJ | MetLife Stadium $&
Saturday, May 27 – E. Rutherford, NJ | MetLife Stadium $+
Sunday, May 28 – E. Rutherford, NJ | MetLife Stadium $+
Friday, June 2 – Chicago, IL | Soldier Field #?
Saturday, June 3 – Chicago, IL | Soldier Field #?
Sunday, June 4 – Chicago, IL | Soldier Field #?
Friday, June 9 – Detroit, MI | Ford Field #?
Saturday, June 10 – Detroit, MI | Ford Field #?
Friday, June 16 – Pittsburgh, PA | Acrisure Stadium #?
Saturday, June 17 – Pittsburgh, PA | Acrisure Stadium #?
Friday, June 23 – Minneapolis, MN | U.S. Bank Stadium #?
Saturday, June 24 – Minneapolis, MN | U.S. Bank Stadium #?
Friday, June 30 – Cincinnati, OH | Paycor Stadium ^+
Saturday, July 1 – Cincinnati, OH | Paycor Stadium ^+
Friday, July 7 – Kansas City, MO | Arrowhead Stadium ^+
Saturday, July 8 – Kansas City, MO | Arrowhead Stadium ^+
Friday, July 14 – Denver, CO | Empower Field at Mile High ^+
Saturday, July 15 – Denver, CO | Empower Field at Mile High ^+
Saturday, July 22 – Seattle, WA | Lumen Field *+
Sunday, July 23 – Seattle, WA | Lumen Field *+
Friday, July 28 – Santa Clara, CA | Levi’s Stadium *+
Saturday, July 29 – Santa Clara, CA | Levi’s Stadium *+
Thursday, August 3 – Inglewood, CA | SoFi Stadium *?
Friday, August 04 – Inglewood, CA | SoFi Stadium *?
Saturday, August 5 – Inglewood, CA | SoFi Stadium *&
Tuesday, August 8 – Inglewood, CA | SoFi Stadium *&
Wednesday, August 9 – Inglewood, CA | SoFi Stadium *&