I’ve been attending concerts for eight years now and personally purchasing tickets for the past four. Buying tickets, especially for popular artists like Taylor Swift, is stressful. You’re competing against other fans and scalpers for the best seats. I’m more relaxed taking exams than buying tickets. So when Ticketmaster started doing the Verified Fan program I was optimistic but skeptical. The few times I’ve participated it didn’t seem to make the process less stressful. I’d have to wait for seats and not refresh the page or else I would lose my spot in line.
Now, with Taylor Swift Tix, I had spent hours watching the videos, purchased multiple albums and merch. Based on the meter, I was at top priority and my code was to be sent on Tuesday, the earliest day for presale. The designated hour for me to receive my code came and went, and I tried to not panic as Ticketmaster tweeted they slowed down the distribution. Hours passed until I realized my phone number was off by one number. I frantically emailed the address on the website and accepted I wouldn’t be buying tickets. I told myself, ‘it’s not as bad as the fans who had received their code but it didn’t work.’
About 10 minutes to midnight (and nearly seven hours after my code was supposed to arrive), I got the email with my code. Logged on, selected my date and the seat map appeared in all its glory. (In my opinion, buying on seat maps is the only way to go because you can see if it’s the best seat from what’s available, but I understand it’s not ideal during times of high traffic.) I peacefully sat and debated on the seats and checked out without a hitch. Once I got my code, the whole process was stress-free. I felt like I was buying tickets for a show that started its sale weeks ago rather than one that had just begun. I have to give Ticketmaster props for that.
But like every new idea, it had its flaws. Those with money who could buy albums and merch got priority over those who poured hours into watching the videos to acquire boosts. Not all the codes were received at the time they were supposed to (if they arrived at all), and the promise that your position in line didn’t change was also broken because of it. Even though I have a good seat, I’m convinced I could have had a better one had my code arrived on time (and if my phone number was correct).
I think this program has potential, but it has to improve. I commend Ticketmaster for trying to solve the issue of scalpers. When this program was announced back in August, I wasn’t sure about it. I’m still not entirely convinced, but I believe that it can achieve its goal with modifications.