[Updated] Some say Ticketmaster 'queue system' a reason for failed presale events

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 16, 2022) follows:

Started in 1976, Ticketmaster has become one of the premier ticketing service providers and a global powerhouse for the entertainment industry.

Tickets for various kinds of events, such as those at stadiums, museums, and art centers are available on the platform. Ticketmaster also focuses heavily on the resale market.


It has established a monopoly in ticketing events, by merging with some of its well-known competitors in the business. This leaves fans with a limited set of options to choose from.

Ticketmaster presale event failures

Ticketmaster’s recent presale events have been full of blunders. This has led to negative sentiments and a loss of trust among its users.

During the presale for a Taylor Swift concert, users faced crashing issues with the platform, and were unable to access the text code, preventing them from completing the ticket purchase.

Similar issues popped up a second time while booking for Morgan Wallen’s latest concert. In this particular case, the presale codes did not show up for several days.

It was surprising to note that even though several claimed that they couldn’t get their hands on the tickets, their resale had already started on other platforms at astronomical prices.


Recently, SZA also announced her SOS tour, and fans were concerned that this presale would also end up like the previous one. As of now, the event’s prices have risen rapidly in a short period of time.

The price of a single ticket got close to a VIP one without the usual perks like early entry to the venue or free merchandise. Some felt that going on a trip looked like a cheaper option than buying a ticket for the concert.

Ticketmaster’s Smart Queue system

Ticketmaster introduced the ‘Smart Queue’ feature in order to get rid of bots on the platform. Due to its implementation, one needed to sign in and provide a unique phone number to validate the ticket purchase process.


The system was designed with the objective of reducing hindrances while booking tickets. However, the system’s design or algorithm had its own flaws which led to completely opposite results.

Drawbacks in the Ticketmaster Smart Queue system

The Smart Queue system’s algorithm has been arguably flawed since day 1. Even if you are at the start of the queue, the platform would only allow you to choose from a handful of random selections.

Ideally, the ones at the start should be able to choose whatever seats they want, and the ones that follow have to choose from the un-booked options.

However, this is not the case with Ticketmaster’s algorithm. Even the ones at the back are presented with the same random selection of seats. This makes users wonder what’s the point of being early.

Even with this system, bots would still win the race and book tickets before users. This led to issues like ‘halted queues’ during the presale.

Ridiculous…. Was in the queue for 30 min and spent almost 50 min fighting for my life for a ticket and every time i clicked on one, someone would “beat me to it”. I hate ticketmaster

I was in queue at 10am and by the time I got in, every ticket I clicked for 15 minutes was “you got beat” pissed

A Reddit user has suggested some ideas to improve the system and combat the problem with bots.


Users blame the Queue system for presale failures

After having experienced a lot of difficulties with the platform recently, several users believe that Ticketmaster’s flawed queue system consistently fails during presale events.

Others believe some changes should be made to the queuing system for it to be beneficial. Some feel that the company had introduced this flawed Smart Queue system just for the purpose of maximizing profits.

As of now, Ticketmaster has not refuted the allegations made by users regarding its Smart Queue system. We will keep tabs on this topic and update it as soon as we come across any new information.

Update 1 (July 25, 2023)

04:35 pm (IST): Numerous reports (1,2,3,4,5) have surfaced indicating that the Coldplay presale event for Croke Park in Dublin has turned into a nightmarish experience for fans due to the Ticketmaster queue system.

Featured image source: Ticketmaster

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Kanav Sood

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