Should Headliner fans take precedence over fans of the support when it comes to tickets?
A big announcement came for music fans yesterday. Taylor Swift announced Paramore as her support act for the up coming European Eras Tour. This led to a frenzy of Paramore fans scrambling for access and presale codes.
This won't be the first time a headliner has a popular act as support and it certainly won't be the last. Since the lockdowns, tour cancellations and general anxiety around crowds there appears to be a more feral attitude to live music experiences. Fearful live events may be taken away in the blink of an eye again. A multitude of music fans will be having their first live music experiences this year and next. Everyone has a right to be excited to see their favourite artists and try whatever they can to see them.
In the ven diagram of Paramore and Taylor Swift fans, there is a surprising amount of crossover. There was carnage on Ticketmaster during the selling of US Eras tour tickets. It got so bad Ticketmaster had to take action, ticket sales were postponed and changes were implemented to their sale process as well as roadblocks against scalpers and bots bulk buying tickets. For large in demand acts fans may have to register for access to general sale, and registering only places you in a lottery there is no guaranteed access.
Tickets going on sale for a big artist is stressful enough. There's the battle with scalpers, bots, the artist's fandom. Add in a whole other fandom for the support and It's going to be a tense affair. Especially when it's a fandom familiar with the gauntlet of getting tickets for an in-demand artist. emotions will be running high, and it can already be seen across social media. 'Swifties' are concerned a number of Paramore fans who don't care for Taylor Swift will be taking tickets from genuine Swift fans. Paramore have not done a full European tour in a long time, only adding to the increased desire to see them.
Each music fan deserves to see their favourite act however, perhaps fans of the headline act have a right to be upset. Taylor Swift is breaking music records left right and centre. She became the first ever artist to hold the Top 10 Billboard 100 in 2022. The Eras tour is a recap of her musical journey thus far encapsulating all her past albums. Meaning it's not just recent fans who are hoping to snag a spot at the tour its legacy fans as well. All though it's been a number of years since Paramore did an extensive European tour, 'Swifties' have been waiting a long time too. There is still the potential for Paramore to announce a European wide tour. The likelihood could even be increased given the reaction to the Eras Tour news. It would be unfair for someone who didn't plan on sticking around for the whole show or had zero interest in Taylor Swift to take the opportunity away from a fan who desperately wanted to see her.
The hypothetical scenario of taking a ticket from a headliner fan is not the only issue fans have when there's a popular support act. During I Prevails tour with Pierce the Veil last year fans left the venue after Pierce the Veils set. videos circulated on social media of large groups vacating before I Prevail took to the stage. In the case of Paramore vs Swift fans even if some did leave it wouldn't make a dent in the over all crowd. It seems disrespectful to the headliner to walk out if the only reason is indifference. After all, it is a privilege to attend any kind of live event, and these Eras shows could go down in music history! Worth remembering too that support acts play a much shorter set than the headliner. There is usually a different style setlist too, curated specifically to win over new fans.
Taylor Swift fans had to jump through hoops to be in with an opportunity to get tickets, and registration closed before Paramore were announced. Was this potentially a tactical decision due to the popularity of the band? Paramore just wrapped a sold out Arena tour around the UK their popularity can't be denied. At this moment in time, tickets for the European Eras stadium tour have not gone on sale. Perhaps there will be enough tickets for Taylor Swift and Paramore fans to go.
Where do you stand on all of this, should those only in support of the support stand aside so headliner fans get the opportunity? Or are all tickets fair game and may the best ticket buyers win!