Taylor Swift ticket stress began in our house, months ago — at 12 o'clock on October 27, 2022, to be precise.My then 17-year-old daughter Jasmine was
Taylor Swift ticket stress began in our house, months ago — at 12 o’clock on October 27, 2022, to be precise.
My then 17-year-old daughter Jasmine was quite frantic. ‘Dad, you have to pre-order Midnights otherwise we won’t be able to get tickets to the tour!’
What? I looked at her vacantly. ‘If we pre-order the new Taylor album Midnights online before 12 we will get a pre-sale code for when she comes here on tour. If we don’t get the code, we won’t get tickets because they’ll be impossible to buy and I will be devastated.’
I’ve been through enough of these panics to know not to argue. I only had five minutes but the pre-order was made. Stressful, yes, but nothing like what was to come.
Jasmine is a superfan. Like millions of Swifties around the world, she has loved Taylor since primary school when she discovered the Red album in 2012.
Taylor Swift ticket stress began in our house, months ago — at 12 o’clock on October 27, 2022, to be precise
Jasmine pictured) is a superfan. Like millions of Swifties around the world, she has loved Taylor since primary school when she discovered the Red album in 2012
There have been birthday parties miming Taylor songs, karaoke singing Taylor songs, hours spent learning Taylor songs on guitars and keyboards, more hours spent watching the Taylor documentary.
Not to mention conversations about how Taylor invites her fans to special parties and fantasies of her doing the same to us. Hyde Park in 2015 and Wembley in 2018: we were there.
To a Swiftie, the thought of failing to get tickets for the Eras tour, which spans all of her career and lasts three hours, is inconceivable.
What is it about her? Why does she span age groups, gender, continents and even political division?
For a start she knows how to write perfect pop songs. They’re not just catchy but clever.
Her background in country music means her lyrics feature relatable stories, often hinting at her own life. That meant by the time she’d dropped the uber-cautious PR approach to pop star politics and come out in favour of abortion and LGBTQ+ rights and gun control, huge numbers of American conservatives had already fallen for her music, thinking she might be one of them.
While Girl Power in the 90s felt like a nice idea, Swift has turned it into action, re-recording her back catalogue to regain control of it after the rights were sold off.
After months of uncertainty, the UK tour dates were announced. Those with the Midnights album pre-order pre-sale code — us, phew — are told the window to nab tickets would open on July 10 and last for three days. This is a nightmare. It is the date of Jasmine’s 18th birthday and if I fail to get tickets it’s going to ruin her big day. I feel a tightening in my stomach.
Jasmine does a little dance in her chair. Her birthday is rescued and the Dad-points are banked
So, on July 10 I take the morning off work and am sitting bolt upright in my study, alone, with two computer screens. One has the Ticketmaster website; the other Twitter, to see what other fans are saying.
The email with our pre-sale code is on my phone. It is 10.25am. Tickets go on sale at 11am, but I know the ‘waiting room’ for the first date at Wembley opens half an hour before the sale begins.
At 10.30 on the dot I try to enter, but it refuses to let me in. Help. Jasmine walks in at 10.35, looks at my screens and says: ‘Why aren’t you in the waiting room?’ ‘Because it won’t let me in!’ I reply, tensely, slamming the ‘enter’ button repeatedly until, at last, the screen changes. We’re in. There’s the countdown clock on the screen.
At 11am the sale begins and the screen changes, but our hearts sink. We are 26,799th in the queue. As the number ticks down oh so slowly I get steadily more annoyed. We are supposed to leave home at noon for a birthday lunch, but clearly this takes priority.
For 70 minutes I watch the number slowly fall until we are 13th. Jasmine is hopping around with excitement, despite me pointing out that if all 26,798 Swifties in front of us buy up to four tickets each, there won’t be many left.
And, no, we aren’t paying £600 each for the VIP packages. At 12.11pm, at long last, we reach first in the queue and Jasmine can’t contain herself.
Then disaster strikes. The website brings up a message saying we’ve been logged out and will have to rejoin the queue. The screen refreshes again… and we have 24,000 people in front of us!
I can’t believe it. We give up and head out to lunch, the mood utterly flat. As the food arrives, however, we decide we won’t be beaten. Tickets for Edinburgh go on sale at 1pm, so we try that instead.
To a Swiftie, the thought of failing to get tickets for the Eras tour, which spans all of her career and lasts three hours, is inconceivable
Amazingly, we are only 7,550th in the Scottish queue and it’s counting down quite quickly. I check Twitter to find people are already offering the London tickets for resale at up to £10,000 each. It is infuriating and exploitative.
I get to the front of the queue and the sale window opens. I start frantically trying to grab ‘front left standing’ tickets. They’re gone. I try ‘front right’. No luck. I go down the list to ‘general standing’ and they’re available.
In a tense few minutes I enter all the details, authorise the sale and we have them! Two tickets to see Taylor Swift in Edinburgh for just over £100 each. I look at Jasmine and she has tears in her eyes.
My job is done, but my blood pressure is sky high. I gulp down a glass of wine in relief and Jasmine does a little dance in her chair. Her birthday is rescued and the Dad-points are banked.
Tickets go on general sale next week. To all superfans, and especially their parents: good luck. Keep calm. Be as swift as you can.