The recent Eras Tour in the southern hemisphere and the wild behavior of Taylor Swift’s fans is another proof of how devoted some people can be to see their beloved celebrity.
Yesterday, an unprecedented number of 4 million Australians eagerly waited in virtual queues for the release of highly sought-after tickets. Unfortunately, unscrupulous scalpers and scammers also saw this as an opportunity to prey on the disappointment of fans who were unable to secure tickets.
The enthusiasm for Taylor’s live performances is unmatched not only in Oceania but worldwide. On the day tickets were made available, 2.4 million tickets were sold in the US, setting a new record for the highest number of concert tickets sold by a single artist in one day. In Canada, some members of Parliament raised concerns with the Speaker of the House of Commons, claiming that Canada was being overlooked as a performance location. To satisfy the demand for tickets, more shows have been announced at a rapid pace.
A while back, I had the bizarre experience of getting to meet Taylor Swift through a friend who was conducting an interview with her. This all went down during her Reputation tour, which was packed with enthusiastic fans and plenty of snake-themed visuals. Before the show began, we got to chat with Taylor one-on-one, and even though our photo together turned out pretty tragically (thanks to her posing alongside a pair of wax figures), she was an absolute joy to be around – warm, intelligent, and totally engaging. Plus, it was surprising to see just how tall she was in person! Little did I realize that this stroke of luck would end up drawing the ire of some fervent Swifties based right here in New Zealand.
As I was riding the train home from Mt Smart Stadium, my phone suddenly beeped with a notification. Without hesitation, I opened the photo of me standing awkwardly beside one of the world’s most famous personalities, and my friend and I were giddy with excitement over our crazy night. However, our joy was short-lived as we noticed dozens of fans staring at us and shouting questions like “How did you get that?” and “How did you meet her?” Some even accused us of lying and deserving nothing. The rest of the ride was uncomfortable as people kept glaring at us.
Several weeks later, I attended a party where a drunk girl yelled in my face, claiming that meeting Taylor Swift was unfair and that I didn’t deserve it. This encounter left a lasting impression on me, and I associated Taylor Swift fans with craziness for a long time.
It’s fascinating how Taylor Swift has such an enormous impact on her fans. She is undeniably talented and an excellent live performer, but it’s hard to believe that her music alone can inspire such fanatical behavior. Her fashion and lifestyle don’t seem to have a significant influence on the fashion and beauty industries, and she doesn’t share much about her personal life beyond media coverage of her past relationships. Despite all this, millions of people worldwide idolize her, craving both her vulnerability and untouchability.
As a person who isn’t particularly invested in the lives of famous musicians or actors, I find it difficult to understand why one would get so worked up over a meeting between two people, especially when Taylor Swift is known for her kindness and poise. However, since it was the Reputation Tour, I probably should have anticipated some drama.