After Taylor Swift concert debacle, Kings Theatre dumps Ticketmaster

Following the Taylor Swift concert drama, Kings Theatre dropped Ticketmaster as its online retailer.
Following the Taylor Swift concert drama, Kings Theatre dropped Ticketmaster as its online retailer.
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

After the recent botched rollout of tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert tour, famed Flatbush performance venue Kings Theatre has severed ties with Ticketmaster — the online seller responsible for the fiasco. 

Ticketmaster, the self-proclaimed world’s largest ticket marketplace, recently gained infamy following a massive breakdown when the platform essentially imploded when tickets to Swift’s “Eras” tour first hit the market. 

Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift debacle

The immensely high volume of Taylor Swift fans (known as ‘Swifties’) caused the website to malfunction, leaving many frustrated pop lovers with no tickets, but massive headaches after hours of desperately trying to secure a seat. 

Even those lucky few who did manage to get out of the woods with tickets were charged exorbitant fees for tickets that had originally been marketed at far lower prices. 

Taylor Swift performs during the opener of her Eras tour.
Taylor Swift performs during the opener of her Eras tour.AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The swift reaction from Swift fans illuminated how Ticketmaster had enjoyed a near-monopoly in the ticket-selling industry, resulting in numerous Swifties suing

The bad blood became so pronounced that executives at Ticketmaster, along with its sister company Live Nation, were hauled before congress to testify against claims of operating an industry monopoly, while a bi-partisan cadre of lawmakers slammed teed off on the company bosses. 

Kings Theatre nixes Ticketmaster

Amidst the legal drama and scrutiny Ticketmaster is currently facing, the iconic Kings Theatre took up the rallying cry of Taylor Swift fans everywhere, and announced on Monday that they would exile the online retailer and officially end their partnership with the company. 

The venue, which dates back to 1929, will instead use ATG Tickets (Ambassador Theater Group) to sell spots at the venue instead.

“We pride ourselves on offering exceptional customer service to all our patrons,” Kings Theatre heads said in a statement. “Our experienced staff are on hand to assist with your ticketing needs. Whether you’re a first-time ticket buyer or a frequent visitor, we’ll help you find the best seats. As of March 27, 2023, tickets for events at Kings Theatre are sold exclusively via ATG Tickets and are available for purchase through our box office and website.”

Tickets that have already been purchased for shows and events at Kings Theatre through Ticketmaster are still valid, but for future events all sales must go through ATG Tickets or be purchased at the venue’s box office, as it appears the online retailer and the venue are never getting back together. 

Kings Theatre will no longer use Ticketmaster after the Taylor Swift debacle.

Kings Theatre fans were thrilled with what many interpreted as a stand against Ticketmaster and its questionable sale practices, with patrons taking to social media to express their excitement.

“That’s awesome,” said one user on Reddit. “It’s my favorite place to see a show these days. The sound is amazing. And they let you buy four beers at a time.”

“I’m not sure how people are getting tickets to kings theater [sic] but I went to the box office last week and easily bought some and it was a lot cheaper than online,” another user said. “Still obscenely expensive, but it cuts the ‘convenience fee.’”

However, despite some excitement from Taylor Swift allies and Kings Theatre fans, others were a bit more cynical, speculating that the decision may have been financially motivated.

“F— Ticketmaster indeed, but they ain’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart or anything, it’s in their own self interest,” one user lamented on Reddit. “Kings Theatre is owned by Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), an international theater organization, which owns ATG Tickets.”

Either way, while Taylor Swift is unlikely to make a stop at King’s Theatre on her tour, which makes appearances mostly at enormous football stadiums, fans will now be using ATG to see the upcoming shows at the iconic venue — including Ed Sheeran on April 10, Madagascar the Musical on May 21, and soul singer Nick Cave on Oct. 6.