Taylor Swift and Peter Kay ticket sites crash due to high demand

19th December 2022

It’s one thing to have a bad day at work. It’s something else entirely for that bad day to result in a special hearing in the US Senate.

In November, Live Nation Entertainment Inc’s Ticketmaster made global headlines when a high demand for Taylor Swift’s US Tour led to a catastrophic system crash. This comes hot off the heels of demand for Peter Kay’s UK Tour sales crashing O2’s Priority website earlier in the month.

While O2 isn’t facing the same level of political scrutiny Ticketmaster is in the US; both situations highlight the fact that there is more than just a company’s finances on the line when it comes to keeping up with customer demands. For O2, the crash has led to unhappy customers and the tarnishing of partner trust. For Ticketmaster, the touring giant is now in the crosshairs of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights.

In both cases, pre-release sales resulted in the vast majority of tickets already being purchased before general release; however, according to company authorities, it wasn’t pre-registered fans purchasing tickets that were responsible for the catastrophe; instead, it was tens of millions of unauthorised visitors and billions of bots attempting to enter the auctions early. Neither fans, customers, partners, nor the Senate is likely to be satisfied with Ticketmaster’s explanation, which claims that it misjudged demand for presale tickets and was unprepared for the millions of fans who tried to log in.

Ultimately, neither site was properly load tested to ensure their systems were robust enough to withstand the peak traffic.

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Nightmares like the ones Ticketmaster and O2 are currently experiencing are entirely avoidable. Take a look at our whitepaper for more advice.