Several U.S. Senators nonchalantly fired off Taylor Swift lyrics while presenting their arguments and blasting Live Nation and Ticketmaster during Tuesday’s (Jan. 24) hearing over Swift’s Eras Tour ticketing fiasco that occurred in November of 2022.
The Senate Judiciary Committee met to discuss the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation and whether or not the concert and ticketing giants impacted consumers by shutting out all competition.
The hearing was a direct result of Ticketmaster’s botched Taylor Swift onsale in November of 2022, which left millions of fans disappointed and without tickets to the superstar’s upcoming Eras Tour.
Swift did not attend the hearing, however, she was there in spirit as senators and other witnesses used her lyrics to help get their points across.
A decision has yet to be made on the situation, for the most up-to-date information on the hearing click HERE.
Below are some highlights from the hearing:
Senator Amy Klobuchar’s opening statement began as she talked of the importance of having competition in capitalism. Her statement also included lyrics from Swift’s “All Too Well,” which appeared on her fourth studio album, Red (2012).
“Competition policy is very important to me. I believe in capitalism and to have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation,” Senator Klobuchar said of Ticketmaster. “Something that unfortunately for this country—as an ode to Taylor Swift, I will say—we know all too well.“
Senator Mike Lee referenced Swift’s song “Karma” during his argument at the hearing, where he said, “I have to throw out in difference to my daughter Eliza. One more Taylor Swift quote, ‘Karma’s a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious that for you, it’s not.’”
Sen. Lee also said that Ticketmaster’s restriction on the ability to allow concertgoer to resell their tickets is “a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” mentioning lyrics from Swift’s 2014 hit “Blank Space,” from her pop crossover project, 1989.
During Sen. Lee’s statement, he also referenced lyrics from Swift’s 2008 Fearless tune, “You Belong With Me.”
“Along with Senator Klobuchar as chair, to be honest I had hoped as of a few months ago to get the gavel back, but once again ‘She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers.’ So, it is nice of Taylor Swift to have written a song about this various situation.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal told Live Nation’s CFO, Joe Berchtold, “Ticketmaster had the temerity to imply that the debacle involved in pre-ticket sales was Taylor Swift’s fault.”
Sen. Berchtold then continued, where he recited lyrics from Swift’s current single, “Anti-Hero,” a tune that appears on her latest album, Midnights. “May I suggest, respectively, that Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, It’s me,’” he said.
Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute then took to the stands to speak on behalf of millions of Swifties nationwide.
“Those representing the dominate player in the market would contend that their growth has allowed them to innovate and make advances that greatly benefit consumers A few million Taylor Swift fans would respond, ‘This is why we can’t have nice things,’” Nuzzo said, peppering in the lyrics of Swift’s 2018 reputation track “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
Live Nation President and CFO, Joe Berchtold, took the stand to share an apology to Swift and her fans during Tuesday’s hearing.
“There are problems in the ticketing industry. Problems we believe can and should be addressed through legislation. Many are the direct result of industrial scale ticket scalping that goes on today, a 5 billion industry in concerts alone in the United States, fueled by practices that run counter to the interests of artists and their fans. The recent on sale experience with Taylor Swift, one of the world’s most popular artists, has highlighted the need to address these, these issues urgently,” he said.
He went on to acknowledge the bot attack and made a promise to those impacted by the Taylor Swift ticketing debacle.
“We knew bots would attack that on sale and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic that we’d ever experienced, and for the first time in 400 verified fan on sales, they came after our verified fan pass password servers as well. While the bots failed to penetrate our systems or acquire any tickets, the attack requires to slow down and even pause our sales. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience, which we deeply regret. We apologize to the fans. We apologize to Ms. Swift. We need to do better and we will do better.”
While Taylor Swift has mostly remained tight-lipped about the situation, the “Bejeweled” singer did share her thoughts when the Eras Tour ticket on sales were canceled by Ticketmaster.
“Well, It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,” Swift wrote in her Instagram stories on Friday, November 18, 2022. “We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house. I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do.”
Swift continued to explain that while she often finds it “really difficult” to “trust an outside entity,” however, she was promised that the ticketing giant, known as Ticketmaster (without mentioning their name in the statement to fans), could handle the demand for tickets.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” the superstar continued. “There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them multiple times if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”
“It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them,” she added.
Swift then went on to acknowledge fans who were unable to secure tickets for her upcoming stint.
“And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means to me,” she said, concluding her statement.
Taylor Swift announced her massive headlining tour that will celebrate her iconic career in early November of 2022.
“I’m enchanted to announce my next tour: Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour, a journey through the musical eras of my career (past and present!) The first leg of the tour will be in stadiums across the US, with international dates to be announced as soon as we can!” Swift previously wrote on Instagram.
Swift announced her highly anticipated Eras Tour on November 1, 2022. The sold-out trek is scheduled to kick off on March 18 in Glendale, Arizona at State Farm Stadium. The Eras Tour will continue through August and will wrap up with back-to-back shows in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium.
Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, girl in red, MUNA, HAIM, GAYLE, Gracie Abrams, and OWENN will serve as support for Swift on select dates of The Eras Tour.
“Feeling like the luckiest person alive because I get to take these brilliant artists out on tour with me,” Swift added. “I can’t WAIT to see your gorgeous faces out there. It’s been a long time coming 🥰”
The Eras Tour is presented by Capital One, produced by Taylor Swift Touring and promoted by the Messina Touring Group (MTG).
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour comes after the world-renowned superstar released her tenth studio album, Midnights, which arrived on October 21, 2022, via Republic Records. Midnights features 13 tracks, including her current single “Anti-Hero” as well as fan-favorite hits such as “Bejeweled,” “Lavender Haze,” “Vigilante Shit,” and more.
“Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21. Meet me at Midnight,” Swift previously shared of the album. “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”
The project follows her 2020 albums, Folklore and Evermore.
In addition, Swift is currently in the midst of re-recording her first six albums, from her 2006 Self-Titled debut to 2017’s Reputation, after the masters to those projects were sold when Scooter Braun purchased the singer-songwriter’s former record label, Big Machine Label Group.
Swift’s re-recordings of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) are already available to stream on all streaming platforms.