WASHINGTON. The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to look into service issues and delays on the Ticketmaster website that have upset fans trying to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.
Here’s where you can watch the hearing.
Politico reported that Joe Berchtold, president of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, plans to blame the cyberattack on pre-sale glitches, based on his prepared remarks.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Mn., chair of the commission’s antitrust subcommittee, said in a press release ahead of the hearing that lawmakers will look into how the consolidation of the live entertainment and ticketing industry has hurt customers and artists.
“The problems in the ticketing industry in America became painfully clear when the Ticketmaster website let down hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy tickets for the new Taylor Swift tour, but these problems are not new,” Klobuchar said. “For far too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits and website crashes, and Ticketmaster’s market dominance means the company is facing insufficient pressure to innovate and improve.”
Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Republicans of Texas, are members of the committee.
Cornyn said in an interview ahead of the hearing that he looks forward to sorting out the issues with automated accounts buying up tickets so they can be resold at exorbitant prices.
“There are a lot of people making big money that don’t benefit the artists or the venue, and I think, you know, we’d like to find a way to solve that problem,” Kornin said.
Cornyn noted that he and Klobuchar had previously teamed up to promote the Save Our Stages Act, which helped deal with the pandemic at live venues across the country.
Swift’s tour will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington from March 31 to April 2. Tickets for AT&T Stadium events are sold exclusively on SeatGeek.
The pre-sale of Swift’s “Eras Tour” was marred by delays and disruptions.
Ticketmaster and SeatGeek canceled public sales of the show due to a lack of tickets to meet demand.
Other witnesses due to testify Tuesday include Jack Groetzinger, CEO of SeatGeek; Jerry Mickelson, head of Chicago-based Jam Productions; and musician Clyde Lawrence, who was critical of Ticketmaster.