Ticketmaster has cancelled ticket sales for the US leg of Taylor Swift’s tour due to “insufficient ticket inventory” to meet “extraordinarily high demands”.
General ticket sales for Swift’s Eras Tour, her first in five years, were planned to open on Friday morning.
But Ticketmaster tweeted on Thursday evening that due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand”, Friday’s sale has been cancelled.
The decision comes days after the presale for the tour caused the site to crash, leaving many fans frustrated and unable to get tickets.
The ticket company had previously asked fans on Twitter to be patient as “millions” tried to buy tickets in the presale, causing “historically unprecedented demand”.
Swift’s fans, known as Swifties, have criticised the company on social media after encountering long wait times and site outages during the presales for the tour which opened on Tuesday.
Fans reported waiting in online queues for up to eight hours, with many finding they were too late to purchase tickets, which cost between $49 (£41) and $449 (£377) each.
In a statement on Thursday, Ticketmaster said it had anticipated heavy demand for tickets, adding that a record 3.5 million people had registered as verified fans.
The company said it had planned to invite 1.5 million of those to participate in the sale for all 52 show dates, including the 47 sold by Ticketmaster, with the other 2 million placed on a waiting list.
But the plan, it said, was undermined by attacks by “bots” – automated software requests – and demand from those who had not previously registered.
“The staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our
site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak,” Ticketmaster said.
“Never before has a Verified Fan on sale sparked so much attention – or uninvited volume.”
Ticketmaster, which overwhelmingly dominates the ticketing industry, has for years left fans and artists frustrated by hidden fees, soaring costs, and limited tickets availability due to presales.
In a letter to Ticketmaster parent Live Nation Entertainment Inc this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar voiced “serious concern about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers”.
Swift has not publicly commented on the matter.
The American leg of the 32-year-old singer’s tour will kick off on 18 March in Glendale, Arizona and end in August.
Swift will be joined by a number of artists during the tour including bands Paramore and Haim, and solo artists like Phoebe Bridgers.
Swift’s latest album Midnights, released in October, claimed the biggest first week of album sales since Adele’s 30 was released last November.
It also took the title of the most streamed album of the year in its opening week with 72.5 million streams across the seven days.