Photo: Canadian Press
Some Taylor Swift fans want you to know three things. They’re not 16 yet, they have careers and resources, and they’re angry now. It’s a powerful political motive, researchers say.
Look what Ticketmaster made them do.
It kicked off on November 15th with millions flooding into Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour pre-sale, resulting in crashes, long waits and desperate purchases. By Thursday, Ticketmaster had canceled general sales, citing insufficient remaining tickets, sparking a storm of anger from fans. rice field.
Ticketmaster apologized, but bad blood had already been sown. And now fans and politicians are starting to act on it.
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez directed Swift where she could file a complaint with the US Department of Justice. Multiple state attorneys general, including Pennsylvania and Tennessee, have released investigations, including major states in Swift’s birth story.
Stephanie Alley, a New York-based expert who has worked on organizing communities for progressive politics, has said for years that mobilizing fandom for social progress is beneficial. I’ve been thinking.
“Fandoms are natural organizers,” said 33-year-old Swiftie. “If you find the right issues, activate them and engage them, you can make a real difference,” she said.
For example, in 2020, K-pop fans organized to support the Black Lives Matter movement in an attempt to swell registrations for Donald Trump’s rallies. Her Aly and Swifties from various industries including law, public relations and cybersecurity joined forces to create Vigilante Legal. Vigilante Legal is a group that targets Ticketmaster, creating her email templates for petitioning the Attorney General and providing antitrust information. Thousands of people are interested in helping and learning.
“The level of anger in this country over this issue is astonishing,” said Jean Sinsdak, associate director of the Center for American Women’s Politics at Rutgers University. We’re building the movement online and I think that’s very attractive. It feels like a real chance.
In some ways, this gives many young Swift supporters a chance to see firsthand how policy is shaped, according to Shinsdak. It also targets demographics rarely courted by politicians during election season.
“No one is going to go out and say, ‘Let’s target young women,'” said Gwen Nisbett, a professor at the University of North Texas who studies the intersection of political engagement and pop culture. “Whether it’s abortion or student loans, that age group is highly mobilized, and young women are highly mobilized.”
Fan culture and community are driving the trend toward mobilization. Nisbett had studied parasocial relationships when fans form strong one-way relationships with celebrities. , but found that fans were still more likely to seek out more information about voting and actually vote.
For the record: AP VoteCast, in its extensive survey of U.S. voters, said about a third of Tennessee voters had a favorable opinion of Swift in 2018, with the majority (10 7) showed support for Democrat Phil Bredesen. in senatorial elections. This was in stark contrast to about a third of voters who held an opinion against Swift and overwhelmingly supported her Republican girlfriend Marsha Blackburn.
For Swifty, his anger at Ticketmaster isn’t just about tickets.
This isn’t the first time fandoms and artists have targeted Ticketmaster. Pearl He Jam said he targeted the company in 1994, but the Justice Department ultimately declined to file a lawsuit. Most recently, Bruce Springsteen fans were outraged by high ticket prices due to the platform’s dynamic pricing system.
“It’s not just about getting revenge on Swift. It’s not about getting a million more tickets for Taylor Swift fans, and it’s not about all of us attending secret sessions,” Jordan Berger, 28, said in a statement. “This is about basic equality. It symbolizes.”
The overwhelming power and scale of Swift’s fandom has spurred conversations about the economic inequality epitomized simply by Ticketmaster.
Aly said quite a few members of the group got tickets. The problem is bigger than her Ticketmaster, she said.
We’ve had some feedback that ‘this is too big, let the government take care of it’. Have you seen the US government? “Government only works when people impose it, it requires people to work, and it only works when people are involved,” she said. There are always enough of us to make a difference, even when it seems impossible to fail, and your involvement may push it beyond the limits of forcing governments to act.”
Ally says many adult Swifts have 10-15 years of experience being bullied for liking singers, but what fans have in mind might be better than revenge. .
“We are thick-skinned and have nothing to lose,” Allie said.