‘It was mayhem:’ Pelham’s swifties share their experiences buying—or not buying—tickets to The Eras Tour


You’d have to be living under a rock, or, “all the bricks they threw at me,” to not know that Taylor Swift is taking the US by storm with Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour. And, yes, this storm is complete with screaming, crying and making all the tables turn.

Fans flocked to Ticketmaster to sign up for Verified Presale seconds after Swift announced the tour on Good Morning America in November. According to Ticketmaster, The Eras Tour accounted for the companies highest registration signup in the companies history, and fans across this small town joined the list of 3.5 million presale signups and never looked back.

Tickets went on sale at 10:00 a.m. local time, and Ticketmaster queues filled up quickly making fans feel like they were standing alone in a crowded room. As screens stated “There are 1000+ people ahead of you” and “The queue has been temporarily paused” like a film reel on the one screen in my town, Pelham fans entered into battle, fighting for the opportunity to scream the lyrics to the bridge of Swift’s “Cruel Summer” with 80,000 other swifities.

The view from Courtney Valente’s New Jersey seat, which she paid $500 for.

“I had been through many ticket presales before and I thought I had been through bad ones but it was absolutely nothing compared to the experience I had in the [Eras Tour] presale,” said PMHS senior Courtney Valente. “I remember expecting it to take 30 minutes max and I wasn’t too nervous since the venues are very large. I ended up waiting in the queue for 3+ hours and then as soon as I got in, I got an error message on my laptop forcing me to reload and be put back in the queue. I spent a few more hours trying to see if I could have any luck but no luck. I was also able to do the Capital One sale the next day, and although it was less chaotic and I was able to get out of the queue, it was still overcrowded and I had no luck getting any tickets, even in the sections behind the stage they had started to sell. It was mayhem.”

Kelly Gallivan at her seat, which she paid $300 for.

After Verified Fan and Capital One presale concluded, fans who weren’t selected for the early sales were eager to join the great war and fight for remaining seats during the general onsale. However, their dreams, and castles, came crumbling down when Ticketmaster announced the general sale would be cancelled since there were limited seats available in arenas.

“It was really difficult to get tickets and the way that Ticketmaster dealt with the whole situation was very unprofessional,” said PMHS senior Bella Rosado.

Rosado was not the only one who wasn’t able to get a ticket on the first merry go round. “Because Ticketmaster promotes scalpers and allows bots into their verified presale, it was extremely difficult to get tickets,” said PMHS senior Emma Nordstrom. “I waited in the presale for hours on end and ended up with no tickets.”

Ticketmaster chose select fans who weren’t the lucky ones during the presales to get a chance at snagging a limited number of remaining seats. Valente and senior Kelly Gallivan were two of those chosen. “I originally waited in the queue for 3 days but never ended up getting tickets,” said Gallivan. “Then on a random day in December, I got an email from ticket master saying I had one day to buy 2 tickets if I wanted them which I obviously jumped at very fast.”

The view from one of Maddie Turner’s three shows. She payed $135 for these seats.
The view from one of Maddie Turner’s three shows. She payed $425 for these seats.

Fans who did survive the fight of their lives did not do it easily. My sister was at college and was in class in the queue for 5 hours but she eventually got them [the tickets],” said PMHS freshman Charlotte Zale. “She said when you were on the website seats would just disappear in seconds so she had to be really quick.”

“I got tickets during the presale, but only after spending the entire day in the queue,” said PMHS senior Claudia Hoeh. “I missed school to buy these tickets, and spent way more than I planned to on them.”

Some swifties took to the hands of fate and attempted to buy resale tickets off of platforms like Stub Hub, Twitter or Instagram. Nordstrom’s friend bought tickets off of a teammate and thought they finally made it out of the woods. “We expected the tickets to be safe, but they ended up being a scam,” said Nordstrom. “We stood outside the stadium for around an hour talking with box office and security to figure out next steps. Our only resort was to buy secondhand tickets which were almost 4x the price of the original presale tickets.”

Bella Rosado at her seat, which she paid $300 for.

Others were luckier than Nordstrom; PMHS junior Maddie Turner bought floor tickets off of Twitter without any stress or fear. “I have a lot of experience with it [buying tickets] so I knew all the precautions,” Turner said. Along with her floor seats, Turner attended two other shows, one of them being in Tampa, Florida. Valente traveled to Chicago, Illinois for one of her two shows.

Long story short, swifties are determined, and that doesn’t stop with the wide fanbase Swift has right here in the 10803.