It’s a Taylor Swift world

A good rule of thumb for consumers is when you’re dealing with concert tickets, you’re probably getting ripped off.

Just ask some fans of Taylor Swift, who think they got suckered into her Ticketmaster-run Verified Fan program.

They can be forgiven; they believed what Swift was telling them.

It’s no shock how a fan moved up in the “line” to get tickets: Buy Taylor Swift’s album, watch her videos, spread your Taylor Swift love around social media to encourage more people to get in on the deal.

What did they get out of it when tickets were finally available to them in their head-of-the-line program?

The Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider reports they were given the choice to pay hundreds of dollars for VIP seating or they could pay $87 to $153 for the worst seats in the house at U.S. Bank Stadium.

U.S. Bank Stadium representatives said fans can opt out of the VIP packages and still buy tickets in the standard $50-$225 price range, which will include many seats sold to the general public outside of the Verified Fan pre-sale program starting Dec. 13 via Ticketmaster.

USBS staff declined a request to provide a map or guide to the different ticket tiers — what’s being charged where — in the publicly funded stadium.

“It’s a naked dash for cash,” music industry commentator and frequent Swift critic Bob Lefsetz wrote in his Lefsetz Letter about her Reputation Stadium Tour, “an effort to sell albums so she can publicize how successful she is.”

In a statement sent to the Los Angeles Times, Swift’s team defended the program as a way to reward the most loyal fans: “If these same tickets were offered on the open market, scalpers would snatch them up and fans would be paying thousands of dollars for them,” the singer’s representatives said.

It’s not just her Twin Cities concert that is priced through the roof.

But an overwhelming number of people who were able to shell out the money for tickets seem more than happy about it.

Although the VIP program was alleged to be a blow against ticket scalpers, it doesn’t seem to have has that much effect.

StubHub lists the highest priced ticket at about $5,000, with average seats going for the $250 neighborhood.

Pretty much the same as it ever was.

  • fromthesidelines21
    • Dan Lind

      I was just going to mention the same thing. Extremely interesting podcast!

  • flying777

    This story is based mostly on pure BS. The system did work for verified fans that where actually involved with buying tickets instead of writing inaccurate hit stories. Tickets on the floor went for 163.00 I bought 4 with ease. Hope ticketmaser keeps this up.

  • RBHolb

    “That’s right….I’m going to see Taylor Swift. Don’t judge me.”

    Someone sounds awfully defensive about her musical tastes.

  • John O.

    Unfortunately, those Taylor Swift fans will just have to shake it off.

  • Barton

    I recently used the Verified Fan Program to purchase tickets to a show on Broadway. A show a group of friends and I wanted to go see in NYC (having already seen it in London). Tickets were $479. The ticket to the same show in London? Pounds converted to $110.

    Is that because of Ticketmaster or because of New York prices? I’m really not sure, but my tickets to Hamilton were under $100 and that was in the first 6 months after it opened (and were a perfect view). So, I guess I may not be sure, but I am blaming Ticketmaster (and the artists) for sticking it to their best/most gullible/strongest fans.

    • Jack Ungerleider

      I’m going to guess that’s NY prices. 30+ years ago you could get rush tickets from TKTS for less than $20 for some shows. I don’t remember what we paid for seats to Barnum in the fall of 1980 but it was around $20/seat for front row mezzanine. Almost 20 years later mezzanine seats for Phantom were at least $50 probably more like $75. (My in-laws bought the tickets, I just remember it was a significant amount for 4 of us to go see the show.)