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Cyber Attack and Bots to Blame for Taylor Swift Ticketmaster Fiasco

By January 25, 2023March 30th, 2024No Comments

The president of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Joe Berchtold, apologized to Taylor Swift and her fans yesterday while being grilled by United States senators over the ticket giant’s spectacular breakdown during a pre-sale of Taylor’s concert tickets last year.

Live Nation Entertainment, appeared on Capitol Hill at a hearing into competition and consumer protections in the live entertainment industry, sparked by November’s fiasco involving ticket sales for Swift’s upcoming concert tour.

According to Ticketmaster, the site was overwhelmed by both fans and bot attacks. Many people lost tickets after they had waited for hours in an online queue.

It was required for fans to register for the presale, and more than 3.5 million people did. Ticketmaster eventually cancelled planned ticket sales to the general public because it didn’t have enough inventory.

“We apologize to the fans, we apologize to Ms. Swift, we need to do better and we will do better,” Joe Berchtold,  president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, told the U.S. Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Cyber Attack on Ticketmaster Taylor Swift

Explaining the situation, he added: “We knew bots would attack… and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic than we had ever experienced, and for the first time in 400 Verified Fan onsales they came after our Verified Fan access code servers.

“While the bots failed to penetrate our systems or acquire any tickets, the attack required us to slow down and even pause our sales. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience that we deeply regret.”

Senetors slammed Berchtold for Live Nation’s fee structure and not being able to deal with bots, which bulk-buy tickets and resell them at inflated prices.

“There isn’t transparency when no one knows who sets the fees,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, responding to Berchtold’s claim that Live Nation fees fluctuate based on “ratings.”

Berchtold apologised “to the many disappointed fans as well as to Ms Swift” for what he admitted was “a terrible consumer experience,” adding: “In hindsight there are several things we could have done better.

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