Taylor Swift ticket trouble could drive political engagement

By BROOKE SCHULTZ

Some of Taylor Swift’s fans want you to know three things: They’re not still 16, they have careers and resources and, right now, they’re angry. That’s a powerful political motivator, researchers say.

Look what Ticketmaster made them do.

It started Nov. 15, when millions crowded a presale for Swift’s long-awaited Eras Tour, resulting in crashes, prolonged waits and frantic purchases. By Thursday, Ticketmaster had canceled the general sale, citing insufficient remaining tickets and inciting a firestorm of outrage from fans. Swift herself said the ordeal “really pisses me off.”

Ticketmaster apologized but the bad blood had already been sowed. And now fans — and politicians — have started acting on it.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez directed Swifties to where they could make U.S. Department of Justice complaints. Multiple state attorneys general — including in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, key states in Swift’s origin story — have announced investigations.

Stephanie Aly, a New York-based professional who has worked on community organizing for progressive politics, for years has thought mobilizing fandoms for social progress could be beneficial.

“Fandoms are natural organizers,” said the 33-year-old Swiftie. “If you find the right issues and you activate them and engage them then you can effect real change.”

In 2020, for instance, K-pop fans organized to back the Black Lives Matter movement and sought to inflate registration for a Donald Trump rally. Aly and Swifties from different industries — law, public relations, cybersecurity and more — have joined forces to create Vigilante Legal, a group lobbying to create policy change around Ticketmaster and organize the Swifties, while creating email templates to petition attorneys general and providing antitrust information. Thousands have expressed interest in helping or learning more.

“The level of anger that you’ve just seen in the country around this issue is astounding,” said Jean Sinzdak, associate director for the Center for American …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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