Mar 28, 2023

Taylor Swift Fans Take Ticketmaster to Court Transcript

Taylor Swift Fans Take Ticketmaster to Court Transcript
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Ticketmaster is at the center of a lawsuit in the wake of the Taylor Swift concert ticket sale fiasco. Read the transcript here.

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Alex (00:00):

Taylor Swift fans rallied outside of downtown LA Courthouse today, as a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation over the sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets is now underway.

Christine (00:10):

Swifties are paying big bucks to see Taylor perform live across the nation, and here in LA at SoFi Stadium when she comes to town in August. Phil Schuman live in downtown LA talking to fans seeking justice. Phil?

Phil Schuman (00:24):

Well, this was a procedural hearing today in federal court, but it brought the issue out into the open. And it’s not just Taylor Swift, it’s really all performers. Have you ever tried to buy a concert ticket? You’re shocked at the price, at the fees, and how difficult it is typically online to even get through and participate in the process. So the lawsuit is hoping to change all that. Swifties love their Taylor, but they would also love it if seeing her and other artists live in concert was more affordable and the process of buying tickets was easier.

Julie Barfuss (01:00):

My hope is to see some change in the way Ticketmaster does business. I feel like … I mean, there are so many things that they are doing wrong, in my opinion.

Phil Schuman (01:09):

Julie Barfuss of Salt Lake City, inside LA’s Federal Court today. She’s the lead plaintiff at a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation. They’re alleging unlawful conduct in handling sales for Swift’s current tour, claiming the companies violate antitrust laws by inflating prices and fees and manipulating supply. Barfuss’ ticket was $1,400 plus those fees that can add another 30-70%.

Julie Barfuss (01:36):

It’s getting to a place where it’s not accessible for your average fan. They can’t afford it, or not even everyone could afford to spend 10 hours that day trying to sit in a queue to get tickets.

Phil Schuman (01:51):

Cassandra Diamond from Fresno, another plaintiff in the suit.

Cassandra Diamond (01:54):

If the tickets were going as Taylor wanted them priced, $50 to $500, I would have two tickets, but they’re not, so I can’t afford them. I hope we end the monopoly. I hope that we end dynamic pricing.

Phil Schuman (02:05):

Ticketmaster and Live Nation already under the spotlight, a Drake fan in Canada suing them over similar issues. Last year at congressional hearings, company officials acknowledged they could do better, blaming much of the problem on bots, short for robots, automated computer programs that buy up tickets.

Joe Berchtold (02:25):

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.

Phil Schuman (02:35):

Meantime, the tour continues under the same system plaintiffs contend is “broken”. That’s because in part for everyone upset at high prices and fees, there are others willing to wait online and pay. So lawyers in the Taylor Swift case understand they have a challenge, but think it’s worth it.

John Genga (02:51):

There are other artists, there are other fans that are looking at this case. The Justice Department is looking at this case. The Congress is looking at this case. Ultimately, we want some significant change so people can go to a concert and enjoy it, enjoy the ticket buying experience, not have to pay an arm and a leg.

Phil Schuman (03:11):

So the artists, again, say they want reform as well. You heard that one woman who was interviewed, Taylor Swift wanted tickets priced at $49 to $449, but then again, they also get a share of some of these expensive, exorbitant fees. So the way the music industry works, the concert industry works, well, they’re trying to reform that. Whether the federal government will force it or whether this lawsuit is successful, well, either one has a legitimate chance at making that happen. Alex and Christine?

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