Companies holding Taylor Swift concert giveaways: Where did they get the tickets from?

Companies holding ticket giveaways ahead of Taylor Swift Singapore concerts

After news broke that American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift will be bringing The Eras Tour to Singapore, tickets were sold out within hours of the opening of ticket sales, as many scrambled to snap up a chance to experience the star’s only stop in Southeast Asia.

Those who did not manage to get their hands on the tickets during the initial wave of sales were left frustrated, with no choice but to turn to alternative avenues.

This however, poses a challenge, with scalpers driving up prices of resale tickets to exorbitant amounts, sometimes at double the original price.

This has caused the ire of fans, who call such moves blatant profiteering and selfish, denying legit fans from getting access to affordable tickets.

Meanwhile, many companies and entities have been coming ‘out of the woods’ to offer free tickets to customers in giveaways and contests ahead of the first show on Saturday (2 Mar).

While some say this is a good thing, as fans would appreciate any chance to potentially score a ticket, others say this is just another attempt to take advantage of fans’ desperation, given that most of these giveaways require some form of commitment or spending.

The deluge of available tickets made available outside of sales channels prompts the question: Where exactly do these tickets come from?

Experts MS News spoke to say concert organisers typically give sponsors and partners early access to the tickets – these parties then hold their own presale, giveaways or offers after ticket sales are over.

More Taylor Swift tickets made available by official partners after sold-out sales

One of the partners is Marina Bay Sands, which is the official presenting partner of The Eras Tour in Singapore.

The integrated resort held lucky draws on 24 Feb and 2 Mar, in which people can stand to win a pair of VIP 2 tickets if they are, or sign up as, Sands Lifestyle members.

On Tuesday (27 Feb), Hilton announced that it has linked up with Singapore Sports Hub as its official hotel partner. Due to the partnership, Hilton Honor members can redeem exclusive VIP passes to Swift’s show on 7 Mar with 100,000 points.

As of this writing, the promotion has been fully redeemed.

A barrage of ticket giveaways & contests surface online ahead of Taylor Swift concerts

Besides official event partners, other companies and organisations have also started rolling out their own ticket giveaway campaigns.

Multi-currency e-wallet firm YouTrip on 16 Feb published a Facebook photo saying that it has a pair of Cat 1 tickets up for grabs as part of its “Taylor Swift Eras Tour Giveaway” from 16 to 28 Feb.

Source: YouTrip on Facebook

However, YouTrip removed the photo shortly after (although as of this writing, the photo is still accessible through online searches).

Three days later, it published another post promoting a “Wildest Dream Music Experience” instead. This contest also spans 16 to 28 Feb.

taylor swift giveaways

Source: YouTrip on Facebook

Although this post did not make any mention of Taylor Swift or The Eras Tour, both the post and the official website included several references to her hit songs.

The giveaway requires people to sign up as a YouTrip member for one chance, following which they can increase their chances of winning by sharing their travel aspirations on an Instagram Story, referring new members to the YouTrip app, or both.

Singaporean fashion retailer Love, Bonito also announced a similar giveaway on 7 Feb, offering a pair of VIP 2 tickets plus two-night hotel stay to one lucky winner.

taylor swift giveaways

Source: Love, Bonito via Zula

When MS News reached out to Love, Bonito for more information on 20 Feb, the brand said that it killed the giveaway on Friday (16 Feb), citing “administrative reasons”.

The Par Club, an indoor golf course at Marina Square, announced on 1 Jan that it is giving away a pair of Cat 2 tickets to its Instagram followers.

taylor swift giveaways

Source: @theparclubsg on Instagram

According to the terms and conditions of the giveaway, the giveaway closed on 16 Feb.

The terms also included a clause stating that the contest is “not endorsed by Taylor Swift or associated record labels”.

Source: @theparclubsg on Instagram

In addition to these companies, a youth festival in Bedok gave away a Taylor Swift concert ticket as a prize for a bingo card game.

A report by TODAY stated that youth-centric charity Heartware Network organised the festival, which took place on 4 Nov 2023.

Initially, organisers had said that the winner would get a chance to watch the concert with Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Tan Kiat How, who is also the Member of Parliament for Kampong Chai Chee under East Coast GRC, as part of “youth engagement”.

However, Heartware Network later told TODAY that Mr Tan would not be attending the concert; instead, he would be chatting with the winner before the show.

Concert stakeholders & sponsors typically have early access to tickets before public sales: Industry expert

MS News spoke to an industry expert, who has been working in the regional music industry for more than 30 years, to find out how these entities are able to conduct such giveaways for tickets to popular large-scale concerts.

The expert, who wished to remain anonymous, shared that it is normal practice — albeit one that’s relatively unknown to the general public — for a concert organiser to give their partners first dibs on tickets before releasing them to the public.

“Music labels, promoters, concert sponsors and partners usually have priority to buy the tickets themselves first before the organisers release them for public sales. The prices at which these ‘stakeholders’ buy the tickets varies, but it is usually close to, if not the same as, market rates,” he explained.

The number of tickets available to these stakeholders to purchase before the public can vary depending on the organisers.

These stakeholders purchase the tickets to hold their own pre-sales, or to give them away to people of their own choosing. Doing so helps with the stakeholders’ public relations, and may prove to be worthwhile investments by making them “look good”, he added.

“This has been happening for a long time, but these companies do it so that they can get more followers and social media attention. It’s all about the numbers these days.”

Entities that wish to conduct public giveaways of concert tickets must gain permission from organisers

The expert also disclosed that companies or entities that wish to conduct giveaways or promotions involving a concert typically require permission from the organisers and the artiste’s team.

Source: @taylorswift on Instagram

In instances where the company purchases tickets through public sales and uses them to conduct their own giveaway, the concert organisers and music label may step in to prevent the campaign from using the artist’s or show’s names.

“The organisers, music label, or artist management team can make them take out the artiste’s name or completely stop these giveaways if they decide that they do not want to be associated with the company or brand holding these activities,” he said.

Pandemic killed many music company’s marketing budgets, Taylor Swift’s case is a rare phenomenon

Having said that, the expert believes that the prevalence of Taylor Swift ticket giveaways is a rare phenomenon, as most artists and labels have a smaller marketing budget after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Taylor Swift is the biggest star on Earth right now, so many companies want to be connected to that somehow, and her team can afford a bigger budget,” he explained.

“Other acts may not be as lucky, as labels have to be prudent with their budget and cannot afford to give away or reserve as many tickets for purposes such as media passes.”

He added: “Even if they could, these organisers would rather invite influencers with big social followings instead of publications as it is all about influencer marketing now.”

Additionally, the expert praised Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for providing a grant to help bring Taylor Swift’s world tour to the country, saying that it is “a very smart move for Singapore’s economy”.

The Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth (MCCY) had worked directly with concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to bring the pop superstar to Singapore, although STB and MCCY stopped short of confirming whether an exclusivity deal was struck.

STB provided grant for Taylor Swift concerts in S’pore, says tour will boost country’s economy

“I do wish that they would have either given Singaporeans priority to buy the tickets or allocated a percentage of the tickets to sell exclusively to Singaporeans,” said the expert.

“I feel that it would be fairer to the fans in Singapore, as the residents of the host country, to not need to compete with the rest of the region to watch her perform.”

MS News has reached out to YouTrip, The Par Club, and Heartware Network for further comment.

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Featured image adapted from Taylor Swift on Facebook and YouTrip on Facebook.

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