Taylor Swift is a capitalist. That’s where her ticketing debacle starts.

In 2004, Scott Borchetta received a package from a young artist looking for a record deal. Along with the concerts, “there was an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog,” Borchetta recalled in an interview with Inc. magazine. “And it’s like, you don’t see that every day.”

Borchetta is the record executive credited with discovering one of the greatest music artists of all time. But before releasing her first single, Swift modeled for a preppy clothing brand. In the catalog, he tagged a picture of himself holding a guitar and wiping his eyes with a tissue (presumably a nod to his song “Teardrops on My Guitar,” which would come out two years later). “She’s a really nice girl,” Borchetta told Inc., noting that she looks much older than her 14 years, and thus has a chance to make it in the country music market.

Do what he did. Today, because apparently countless Swift fans don’t have tickets to her upcoming tour that will showcase her different “seasons” — from Taylor’s curly hair and Southern accent to Pride Taylor as a gay rainbow — we’re dealing with the cutest version of Swift ever. still: Capitalist Taylor. So far, most of the ire has fallen on Ticketmaster, the monopolistic concert and ticketing conglomerate, while Swift has received less opprobrium, perhaps because of the fandom-like intimacy she’s cultivated throughout her career. But as that A&F catalog has shown over the years, Swift has always been one for cultivating brand synergy. The fans, who finally noticed, looked heartbroken.

Last month, Cosmopolitan deemed Swift the “Scrooge McDuck-level of the rich,” citing estimates that put her ahead.Midnight worth 570 million dollars. His 2018 tour for fame was the highest-grossing US tour. In 2019, he signed a multi-year deal with Capital One, prior to the release of like. The single “ME!” Signed up for an ad for a 4 percent cash back card, and Capital One cardholders had the privilege of purchasing a “one-of-a-kind Taylor Swift t-shirt,” which came with a digital copy of album.

For the “Eras” tour, one way to increase your chances of getting access codes for the Hunger Games before the sale is to buy a lot of Swift merchandise (for example, a wall clock connection that is designed to hang on four. Midnight CD, sold separately). He also promised a special “Eras” travel sale for Capital One cardholders, which led to a lot of press coverage encouraging Swifties to take out debt.

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Not that it really helped them. The idea is to satisfy dedicated fans who buy tickets before the general public (and scalpers too). It might be a mistake to think that the process of logging into Ticketmaster at the appointed time with a code in hand allows you to calmly exchange money for goods and services — that’s the first visit of Swift in four years. But the process was terrible. Fans experienced a website that couldn’t handle traffic, and waited hours in digital queues.

Before the sale of Capital One, a friend and I carefully strategized how much we would pay for tickets, and even made a plan for what we would do if we couldn’t make enough for everyone. in our group. When we reached a screen showing a stadium seating chart, we were offered a two-pack of “Karma is My Boyfriend” for $755 each, not far off the mark. (What makes the $200,000 packages better than just a seat? They reportedly come with extras like VIP stadium access, an “Eras” travel bag, and “a crowd-free VIP shopping option.”) but we were able to buy them anyway; in a moment one of them was gone from the screen. But perhaps they left the ether before the light from the computer even had time to reach our eyes—a colleague reported seeing tons of tickets, and spent Just 45 minutes to check multiple times but there are no options. . And there won’t be, as we were promised, a chance to try again on sale to the public—Ticketmaster had to cancel it due to insufficient inventory.

Ticketmaster, the only way to buy tickets for many concerts and major sporting events, was the villain in this mess, everyone decided. “To try and fight Ticketmaster in 2022 is to try and fight God,” said Kelsey McKinney at Defector. In Slate, Ron Knox notes that the chaos has prompted calls from politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to break Ticketmaster’s monopoly — and maybe even destroy Swifties.

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Little by little, it seems to have become clear to fans how far Swift has come himself profited even from this bad ticket buying experience. A viral TikTok featuring a woman sitting despondently in her car under a caption proclaiming that the whole thing was “Taylor’s capitalist circus on full display…I’m going to say that Taylor has officially fired me. ” In The New Republic, Timothy Noah puts the “blame” on Swift, in two ways. There is the fact that he is very popular. On Tuesday, he sold 2 million tickets, Noah wrote—”more than any previous act—Enrico Caruso, Rudy Vallee, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Michael Jackson—had sold in one day.” Then, there is the issue of dynamic pricing. Swift, like many artists, has agreed to allow Ticketmaster to raise seat prices in response to demand. It’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds, says Noah: Do you prefer Stubhub, or Swift herself? I think, sure, find me, Taylor. And if the tickets were cheaper, it would be in the public interest, but it would still leave a big problem: there would be more demand for them, and therefore not so much.

On Friday, Swift released a statement on Instagram noting that she was “trying to figure out how to make this situation better moving forward” and that while she was happy that 2.4 million people were able to get tickets, ” It really upsets me that a lot of people feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.” At the end of the day, the number of Swift tickets available in this world is limited by how long she can stand in front of a crowd and sing. At the same time, I feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of people who are seething with anger because they won’t be able to see him this spring. The Beatles quit touring after six years. ; Swift did more than double that. He could have gotten away with it and he was justified in doing so. And he did something admirable. for years, such as using its influence to help artists earn money when their songs are streamed during Apple Music’s free trial period, as David Turner described in Slate in 2018.

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But it’s still the fans who take the money, and for some of us, being asked to pay hundreds of dollars to see him live (if we’re really lucky!) feels like a bummer, especially given our parasocial relationship with him. may be too deep. . My first encounter with Swift’s music was when I was 16 years old. A friend of mine from summer camp sent me a CD of alternative music like the Jonas Brothers—and a Taylor Swift song, “Stay Beautiful,” that he hopes. love will end with him, but good luck to him even if he doesn’t. Fortunately, the lyrics better more than anything my age has offered. I looked at it and was drawn.

I’ll admit that in the next decade, this woman became so popular that I can’t see her tour now. I understand that he should get paid for his work. And Swift certainly didn’t invent the idea of ​​being a spokesperson for goods and services. But even so, it’s a bit boring to read the poem Midnightif capitalist Taylor takes advantage to sell me credit cards and other shirts.

This summer, I received an email from Taylor Nation, Swift’s company. This is not an announcement of new music, or an alert to me about tour dates. It introduced me to a branded towel shop. Well, my favorite poet emailed me: If I bought two towels, I could get 10 percent off.

“It goes without saying that I am very protective of my fans,” he wrote in a statement on Friday. In fact, I think we can say that he is not. And that’s good. It’s just an entertainment business. It was no special.


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