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Swift-mania hits Australia: ‘You need to calm down’

Swift-mania hits Australia: ‘You need to calm down’. US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her Eras Tour at Sofi stadium in Inglewood, California, Aug. 7, 2023. Advance ticket sales for the movie of Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour have topped $100 million worldwide, theater operator AMC said Thursday, Oct. 5, making it the best-selling feature-length concert film in history. MICHAEL TRAN / AFP [FILE PHOTO]

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her Eras Tour at Sofi stadium in Inglewood, California, Aug. 7, 2023. AFP [FILE PHOTO]

Die-hard Taylor Swift fans flocked to a Melbourne stadium early Friday, snapping up merchandise hours before the first Australian date of her money-raking, two-year-long “Eras” tour.

The 34-year-old megastar kicks off seven Australia shows in Melbourne on Friday, the first of three stadium gigs in the city, before heading to Sydney for four more sell-out dates.

READ: Grammys 2024: Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year 

The Eras Tour

“The Eras Tour”, which takes fans through the Swift discography, is predicted to be the highest-grossing musical tour of all time, netting about US$1 billion in ticket sales, according to Pollstar, a trade publication.

“The main thing that got me into her was probably the lyrics and how I can relate them to so many different situations”, said 21-year-old Australian fan Kendra Harris, who has been waiting months to see her hero in the flesh.

“I also love how she’s so communicative with fans. She posts a lot of things on her social media and will comment on people’s TikToks, so it feels like she truly knows you,” said Harris.

“She definitely has a close relationship with fans. I know she used to invite fans to her house to listen to the album early, so I feel like doing things like that just shows how much she cares.”

With many fans coming from overseas or inter-state and tickets hard to come by, hotel groups are offering ticket-and-lodging packages that run into the thousands of dollars.

READ: Taylor Swift announces new album, ‘Tortured Poets Department’

Surprise songs

Fans were gearing up for the concerts by creating Swift-themed friendship bracelets, preparing outfits and learning “fan chants” to belt out during performances.

Bead kits have reportedly sold out in some Melbourne and Sydney stores, as fans have rushed to make the bracelets, which are traditionally traded before shows.

“I’ve made like six or seven, but I would like to make a few more before the concert … you trade them with people and I think people just give them if you don’t have any,” said Harris.

Many concert outfits will be inspired by Swift’s self-described “Eras”, her transformation through a range of musical genres, from country to pop.

READ: Taylor Swift is Time Person of the Year


Following last year’s re-release of her album “1989”, Swift has made around US$500 million from streaming royalties and music purchases such as tracks, albums, CDs, LPs and cassettes, according to Billboard.

“I saw the ‘Eras Tour’ movie in cinemas and that just made me even more excited, it looks amazing and I’m excited to hear what surprise songs we get as well,” said Harris.

Swift, whose hits include “Shake It Off”, “Blank Space” and “You Need to Calm Down”, performs an acoustic set on piano and guitar, while featuring two surprise songs not on the official setlist.

Promotion for the tour has been as carefully choreographed as the performance on stage, and helped by Swift recently scooping her fourth “Album of the Year” prize at the Grammys, followed by a much-hyped appearance at the Super Bowl, where she cheered on boyfriend Travis Kelce of the winning Kansas City Chiefs.

The power of Taylor Swift has even seeped into academia, with the University of Melbourne holding a “Swiftposium” to discuss her influence across a range of disciplines.

“Fans view her a lot more as the friend-next-door than they do as a billionaire superpower, which is the reality of what she is,” sociologist Georgia Carroll told the gathering.

TAGS: Swift-mania, Taylor Swift
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