Why Are Taylor Swift Eras Tour Tickets So Much Cheaper in Europe?

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Tickets for Swift’s 51 shows overseas are 87 percent cheaper than her remaining U.S. shows, providing a model for how to keep prices low in the States.

Taylor Swift purple skirt

Taylor Swift performs during “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at the National Stadium on March 2, 2024 in Singapore.Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Taylor Swift is returning to the road to complete the final leg of her Eras Tour for fans eager to hear the singer-songwriter perform new tracks like “Fortnight,” “Down Bad” and “Florida!!!” from her new album, The Tortured Poets Department.

But those fans may be in for some sticker shock. Prices to see Swift at one of her final nine shows in the United States have increased following the release of the album April 19, with the average get-in-the-door price — the lowest price available — hovering around $2,600 per ticket, according to data from TicketIQ. That means it would cost a couple more than $5,000 just to be in the same building as Swift in Miami (Oct 18-20), New Orleans (Oct 25-27) and Indianapolis (Nov. 1-3) this fall.

In Europe, however — where Swift starts a 51-show run on May 9 with a kickoff date at Paris’ La Defense Arena — tickets cost only a fraction of that. Right now, the get-in-the door price to see the opening of the European leg of the Eras Tour is $340 a ticket — 87% cheaper than the average price in the United States.

That means a fan in Miami could fly to Paris for about $900 a person (according to prices generated on kayak.com), spend two nights at a four-star hotel at $250 a night and purchase a $340 concert ticket for a grand total of $1,740 — which is still $760 less than the cheapest tickets currently available for her Miami shows.

Tickets to see Swift in Stockholm (May 17-19) are even cheaper, at $312 for the cheapest tickets, while tickets for her show in Portugal (May 24-25) start at $336 and in Spain (May 29-30) start at $324. Prices do start to climb in the United Kingdom, with the get-in-the-door price hovering around £540 (about $674 USD) for Swift’s Liverpool shows (June 13-15). Prices to see Swift at Wembley Stadium (June 21-23) hover around £720 ($900).

The reason for the huge difference in price, experts say, is due in part to longstanding consumer skepticism about resale tickets in most of Europe. That’s coupled with a much more aggressive regulatory environment where artists and consumers are empowered to report and remove illegal ticket listings, and where prices are kept low thanks to laws limiting how high tickets can be marked up over face value.

The European approach is significantly different from that of the United States, where ticket resale is not regulated and deceptive marketing practices, including the use of deceptive websites and speculative ticket listings, continue unabated despite widespread outcry from consumers. And federal officials don’t regularly enforce the few ticketing laws that do exist. It took five years after the BOTS Act — banning automated programs that jump the queue and buy up tickets — was passed for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to bring a case against brokers for violating the bill.

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is set to earn $1 billion in sales

Sam Shemtob, managing director for ticket resale advocacy group Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), points to Europe as a model for how governments can be more vigilant about regulating resale markets. In countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands, ticket resellers face limits on how much tickets can be marked up on secondary sites — typically 20% over face value. Other countries like the United Kingdom allow resale but restrict who is allowed to post tickets for resale and give artists and event promoters the right to take some resale ticket listings down.

Adopting European-style regulations in the United States by restricting ticket markups to 20% above face value would transform the concert business overnight and likely drive prices down dramatically on the secondary market. Markup caps would also likely make programs like Ticketmaster’s platinum ticket pricing (which charges high markups for a small percentage of tickets to offset the resale market) obsolete and significantly reduce the number of ticket brokers and bad actors using bots to disrupt ticket sales and illegally buy up tickets.

A federal cap on ticket markups would also significantly disrupt the secondary ticketing market and push many brokers out of business, which might create unintended consequences for sports teams that are much more willing to sell season tickets to brokers and depend on resellers for distribution. It’s also unclear if Americans would even accept a regulatory framework capping how much tickets could be marked up. Lawmakers in New York, Utah, Colorado, Connecticut and Virginia have all passed laws in the last decade making it illegal to restrict how and where ticket brokers resell tickets. While U.S. consumers often complain about the excesses of ticket resale and like the idaof using technology to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers, they also dislike the restrictions that come with non-transferable tickets and tend to loudly oppose policies that create inconveniences.

Shemtob notes that Europe’s ticketing rules aren’t just about protecting price, but are also designed to empower citizens to take action.

On Jan. 1, 2025, Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA) will go into effect, creating a uniform set of guidelines for online ticket resale requiring resellers to disclose their names and contact details to potential ticket buyers. The DSA also mandates that resale platforms track takedowns of public ticket listings (to help provide a record of the deceptive activity taking place) and ban deceptive marketing practices.

While many of the DSA’s reforms mirror U.S. efforts to clean up ticketing, Shemtob says a provision in the DSA bill that makes it simple to flag, report and take down ticket listings that violate the rules is a game-changer for consumer advocates. The law creates “a clear process for removing illegal ticket listings as and when they appear,” he said in a statement provided to Billboard, putting in place “the groundwork for a fairer, more transparent ticket-buying experience for consumers.”

Besides keeping prices in Europe low, the legislation has also led to a surprising boom in tourism from U.S. fans traveling to the continent to pursue cheaper Eras Tour tickets: A spokesperson for StubHub told Billboard that 68% of ticket purchases for Swift’s 51-show run in Europe have come from U.S. buyers.

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