Senators quote Taylor Swift lyrics at hearing addressing Ticketmaster mess: ‘I’m the problem. It’s me’

Senator Richard Blumenthal, 76, was one of several who used the pop star’s own words during congressional hearings looking into last year’s ticketing debacle

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 24 January 2023 19:40 GMT
Senate hearing into ticketing industry following Ticketmaster meltdown

Senators ripped into executives from Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation over its disastrous handling of Taylor Swift ticket sales during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Live Nation president Joe Berchtold appeared before lawmakers on Capitol Hill where he apologised to the pop star and her legion of fans, pledging: “We need to do better, and we will.”

The words appeared to carry little weight with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrat Richard Blumenthal, from Connecticut, told Mr Berchtold he had accomplished the “stunning achievement” of unifying both parties behind a common cause.

Using lyrics from Swift’s 2022 hit Anti-Hero, the 76-year-old added: “Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say: ‘I’m the problem. It’s me.’”

Fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, also employed a Swift song title as she called for a probe into the potential breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, who merged in 2010.

Taylor Swift arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, in New Jersey in 2022 (Invision)

“To have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation,” Ms Klobuchar said, according to the Huffington Post.

“Something that unfortunately for our country, as an ode to Taylor Swift, I will say we know all too well,” a nod to the star’s pop break-up ballad All Too Well.

Republican Senator Mike Lee, from Utah, joined in the fun by quoting a lyric from Blank Space.

He said that limiting ticket transfers to avoid reselling was “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”

The GOP lawmaker concluded his speech with the words: “I have to throw out, in deference to my daughter Eliza, one more Taylor Swift quote: ‘Karma is a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious for you it’s not?’”

The ticketing debacle last November saw millions of irate fans miss out when the Ticketmaster was forced to cancel its public sale due to a “staggering number of bot attacks”.

Elsewhere, the head of rival company Seatgeek joined calls for the ticketing behemoth to be split up.

Ticketmaster, as the ticket selling arm of the operation, and the promotional arm Live Nation, were accused of abusing their market dominance to charge up to 25 per cent in commissions on concerts and sporting events.

Swift herself did not appear at Tuesday’s hearing, but fans picketed the US Capitol with protest placards.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in