One year ago, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour ticket sale — referred to as “The Great War” — caused complete chaos among millions of fans across the globe. Although time has passed, lawsuits have been filed, and thousands have critiqued Ticketmaster for its handling of the sale, no real progress has been made. In an attempt to keep the momentum going — and commemorate the fiasco — Swifties are being asked to join together on November 15 for a “Call to Action.”
The woman-owned personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas, Kinder Law PLLC, is currently representing over 355 Swifties in an ongoing federal case in California against Ticketmaster. The lead plaintiff, Julie Barfuss, filed the complaint in December 2022, claiming Ticketmaster violated breach of contract, fraud, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and anti-trust violations.
A separate lawsuit was also filed in Texas on the same causes of action, and the firm is about to file another case representing 160 plaintiffs against Ticketmaster.
Jennifer Kinder of Kinder Law told Straight Arrow News she was unsure about filing the lawsuit at first — due to the possibility of being forced into arbitration — however, Live Nation’s attempt to push plaintiffs into private arbitration failed during the Skot Heckman et al v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. et al. case in August. U.S. District Judge George Wu claimed mass arbitration poses “a serious risk of being fundamentally unfair to claimants.” Now, Swifties — and other fans who have been a victim of these practices — have a chance.
The law firm asked Swifties to “unite and raise their voice against monopolistic capitalism in the sports and entertainment industries” on November 15, noting that although Live Nation has been outspoken about their record profits this year, they are currently facing an investigation by the Department of Justice, with many legislators speaking out about their alleged monopoly.
Kinder Law offered a handful of tips for Swifties to take action:
- Contact your representatives in Congress
- Contact your state Attorney General
- Petition the Department of Justice to investigate Ticketmaster
- Petition the Federal Trade Commission and DOJ to break-up Live Nation-Ticketmaster
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
Additionally, the firm offers “tool kits” on their website to plan a rally, with tips on organizing and advocacy.
“Swifties need to stay engaged, loud and mad,” Kinder told TicketNews. “They need to stay vocal on social media and their congress people.”
It’s not too late for Swifties to reach out, either; Kinder Law has a complaint box on their website where fans can describe their experience during the infamous ticket sale. Valid claims include: paying too much amid dynamic pricing, a code did not work or you did not receive one, you were not informed about an obstructed view or disability seat, tickets were removed from your account or basket, or the price of your tickets changed from basket to purchase.
In a statement to TicketNews, Kinder said that she fully believes these cases “absolutely will impact the ticketing industry,” noting that “Ticketmaster pissed off the wrong fan base.”
“We are currently waiting on a 9th circuit ruling on a favorable decision in the Swiftie lawsuit,” Kinder said. “This decision will keep us in a court, in front of a judge and jury. We will never be silenced and we will not stop until live entertainment is changed in favor of consumers.”
Swifties are not alone in this fight. Fans across all genres are officially fed-up with Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation for their control over the ticketing industry. During ticket sales for big-name acts like Olivia Rodrigo, Morgan Wallen, and Bad Bunny, fans have felt the effects of Ticketmaster’s dynamic and platinum pricing policies. Ticket prices have surged across the platform, leaving thousands of potential eventgoers empty-handed as they’re forced to choose between paying an exorbitant price for a single ticket or missing out on seeing their favorite artist perform live.
The pair act as venue owners and operators, ticket sellers, and promoters — all simultaneously — and legislators have taken note. Legislators like Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have called-out the company’s market power. During a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, Klobuchar said the merger “has decimated competition in the ticketing industry and resulted in higher fees for consumers.”
The DOJ is actively investigating Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s 2010 merger, focusing on whether or not Live Nation has “abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.” Additionally, the DOJ is probing Live Nation on whether or not is uses anticompetitive agreements with venues and artists, including any agreements that restrict a venue to work with any other promoters or ticket services.
A new poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group Guidant Polling & Strategy and commissioned by secondary ticketing site SeatGeek, found that a majority of Americans support the DOJ seeking to break-up the pair. The poll found support was shared by 72% of democrats, 50% of republicans, and 46% of independents, with just 19% saying they would oppose breaking up the company.
Last Updated on November 15, 2023