Are you ready for it? Taylor wasn’t. 

Obsidian Blog Post (Taylor’s version)

Millions of teenage girls and 30-year-old women like me had their wildest dreams come true when Taylor announced she’d be going back on tour – a tour that would feature each of her “Eras.” There was going to be a presale process, and we imagined easily heading over to a digital ticket purveyor, entering our code and getting the pick of the litter when it came to seats. What actually happened was just plain mean. We were subjected to an hours-long virtual frenzy. There wasn’t pushing and shoving, but there was emotional damage inflicted as codes did not work and people were mysteriously booted from the site as they finally were able to select their tickets. We were seeing red as tickets we thought were going to other people like us went to bots, and then immediately hit the secondhand ticket market for a mere $25,000 a ticket. And today, Ticketmaster announced that Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” tickets won’t go live for the general public…like, ever. Is this a PR crisis that could have been avoided? Is this blog post just an excuse for me to use 13 Taylor Swift song titles in one piece? It’s both. Are you ready for it?

I don’t think Taylor could have anticipated her current level of stardom. I know I did not anticipate that I’d still be listening to a singer who wrote the country-music soundtrack to my first love story at 15. But here we are. Taylor’s star has exceeded our stratosphere, and her music is still my style. Though I’ve been a fan of Taylor’s since middle school, I never considered seeing her in concert until this tour. It takes *a lot* to get me to a concert. They’re loud, they’re crowded, and the artist never sounds as good as they sound on my phone. But with dozens of songs in her discography that remind me of every stage of my adolescence and early adulthood, I thought I might give this a go for nostalgia’s sake. Plus, the allure of “Eras” had me excited. I would, assumingly, get to experience Taylor in all her glory – from “Tell Me Why” to “Dress” and “All Too Well.” 

I was not alone. In fact, more than 14 million “people” tried to purchase tickets during the “Eras” presale process. And while a lot of those tickets went to people much more patient than me, others went to bots or mass-ticket purchasers whose end game is making major profits in the after-market. This sparked an uproar, even causing congressional representatives to call this “anti-hero behavior.”

While PR can’t solve the bot and after-market profit problems, I couldn’t help but think if there were communication lessons to be learned from this process. Here are a few I took away:

If I end up spending $1,989 to see Taylor Swift from the nosebleeds is yet to be determined. But if I do, I’ll be sure to shout, “Look What You Made Me Do.”