I think there’s been a glitch. After Ticketmaster turned the pre-sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour into a certified shit show (e.g. fans waiting in virtual lines for hours and millions getting shut out of tickets while bots scooped up seats), members of Congress from both sides of the aisle seem to be maybe, actually working together against a common enemy.
Back in November, Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter to Live Nation Entertainment—the company that resulted after ticketing giant Ticketmaster combined with the powerful venue operator Live Nation—saying the merger “insulates” the company “from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it plainly when she tweeted: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s [sic] merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.” (Swift herself wrote in an Instagram Story that it was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”)
Then on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee called a hearing to question Live Nation Entertainment, and both Democrats and Republicans were quick with their criticism and cringey-yet-impressive lyrical puns. The hearing focused on the company’s “monopolistic” practices, according to The Wrap, which have resulted in high ticket prices and poor distribution technology. Republican Sen. John Kennedy told Joe Berchtold, the president and chief financial officer for Live Nation Entertainment: “The way your company handled the ticket sales with Ms. Swift was a debacle.” Fellow GOP Sen. Josh Hawley echoed the sentiment. “You, in a monopoly, are forcing everyone to come into your ecosystem,” he said. “I just don’t see how consumers win in this exchange.” Per The Wrap, Sen. Richard Blumenthal pointed out the committee’s bipartisanship, telling Berchtold: “You have brought together Republicans and Democrats in an absolutely unified cause.”
As Swift might sing, this show of solidarity is as rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky. Now let’s just hope it ends with better concert tickets.
Madison is a senior writer/editor at ELLE.com, covering news, politics, and culture. When she’s not on the internet, you can most likely find her taking a nap or eating banana bread.