Cruel Summer for many Irish Taylor Swift fans over ticket rush for Dublin shows
Being married to a diehard ‘Swiftie’ and entrusted with securing tickets to one of next year’s three Dublin shows, starting out behind more than 71,000 in a queue for a stadium that holds 51,700 was not ideal.
Today, general sale tickets for three Taylor Swift shows at the Aviva were released on the Ticketmaster website in a trio of agonising time slots.
The most-savvy fans had already been granted access to a pre-sale after pre-ordering the US singer’s album Midnights last year.
For the hundreds of thousands of Irish fans elsewhere, the next hoop to jump through had been entering a lottery to be invited to join the general sale tickets.
Memories of tired and cold parents queuing overnight at Virgin Megastore on Belfast’s Royal Avenue to buy concert tickets for their children now seem like a simpler, happier time.
Poised to enter the virtual waiting room for the Saturday show at 12.30pm, a minute-by-minute countdown raised the tension until my place in the queue was finally revealed.
Starting out at 71,387th did not look good, but the hopes of a miraculous jump ahead kept my hopes alive.
With each person in the queue given the option of buying a maximum of four tickets, it only took minutes before depressing posts emerged on Twitter from people selling their places for inflated prices.
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After one hour of carefully avoiding the refresh button on the internet browser, there was only 22,846 people ahead of me in the queue.
This seemed hopeful.
Eventually, it was just one and I was all but ready to secure the prize when the cruel reality of modern pop-fandom came into view.
All of the ‘cheap-seats’ were gone, with only various VIP packages remaining, each with a zany Taylor Swift-themed title attached to a mortgage-level price tag.
This included the ‘Karma is my Boyfriend’ package for €743 (£644) a ticket, ‘It’s a Love Story’ for €445 (£385) and the cheapest available ‘We Never Go out of Style’ package for €371 (£321).
With questions remaining about what extras you could expect with these extravagant offers, perhaps access to a future pre-sale?
Accepting defeat, the only option was to join the queue for the Sunday show but this time starting off at 3pm with an optimistic 66,000th place, but sadly the end result was the same.
I can only spare a thought for the many, many parents and others across Ireland wishing they could be camped outside a record shop at 5am instead.