What it was really like to go to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

Like many people I know, when Taylor Swift announced her UK Eras Tour dates I sat online in a virtual queue to pre-register, just for the hope of getting a code and a chance to get tickets. This was about a year ago. Sure enough, sale day came and no code meant no tickets for me. I was disappointed, but I made peace with it.

I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for over half my life, but I’m not obsessed, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Swiftie. I didn’t quite get the whole friendship bracelets thing, and if I’m totally honest I haven’t listened to a lot of the ‘from the vault’ tracks. I don’t try and decode secret messages. I just like her music, and it’s been the soundtrack of most of my teenage and adult life. But as the world tour went on, I found myself berating myself for not trying harder. Why didn’t I sign up for all the dates? Why didn’t I consider other European cities? What had I been thinking?!

So it was nice when a filmed version of the Eras Tour was released at the cinema and I could go and see it imagining that that was the closest I’d get, and with a much better view than we’d have ever had in a stadium. But as soon as she arrived in Europe I found myself looking at extortionate resale tickets on unofficial platforms. Or refreshing ticketmaster hoping something would magically appear. After all, Paramore were her support act and I wanted to see them too! And then…

And then I got an email out of the blue on 20 June with a code for the London dates that weekend. At first I thought it was a scam. Then I realised I couldn’t go because I was due to be with my parents at the opposite end of the country. Then I decided it wouldn’t hurt to log in and just look and see how much they were. And I could get a ticket! But only one. No good, I needed two so my husband could come too. A few more clicking round between the dates and page refreshes and suddenly there were two tickets available, so I bought them.

For context, I did all of this whilst at a conference in a break between talks (thank goodness the first talk had finished early!). According to my colleague I made a noise like a baby seal (I definitely squealed) and then I just couldn’t sit still because of the adrenaline pumping through my body. I also still needed to speak to my husband as he had no idea we were going, and we suddenly had a load of logistics to work out.

So that was the long preamble… But was it worth it and what was it actually like?

It was absolutely worth it, just like I knew it would be. I’ve never been to a concert on such a scale before, and there’s something exhilarating about being among 89,000 other people and all singing the same song, sharing the same moment. We were in the top section, so we couldn’t see her face unless we looked at the screens, but we had a decent view of most of the stage and could see all the dance formations really clearly. Taylor Swift is a natural performer so she really commanded the stage (as did Paramore before her) and it was a wonderful show.

It made me feel nostalgic, it made me feel part of a moment in history and it’s not a night I’ll forget in a hurry. I tried to absorb as much of it as possible, unlike the kids sitting in front of us who seemed to watch the whole thing through their phones as they recorded pretty much the entire thing, and just enjoy dancing and singing in the moment.

Things that might be useful to know are:

  • The mega merchandise store doesn’t sell anything different to the other merch stores
  • If you’re there the night before, you could pick up your merch then. My husband bought me my t-shirt then and as the show had started there were no queues
  • Make sure you’re back in your seat by the time Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ has finished
  • It’s a long show. You will need the toilet. Nobody wants to go to the toilet while she’s on stage, so there will be no queues. Pick your least favourite song and go then.
  • Water queues will be long – it might just be worth buying your water rather than queueing
  • You won’t be over-dressed. There were some incredible outfits!

My favourite bits? The staging and choreography for Folklore / Evermore is wonderful. The acoustic set feels really authentic and in the moment. The opening is great just because everyone is feeling that shared sense of anticipation. And then just seeing some of your favourite songs performed live is magical. I also thought it was good how regularly she was crediting her dancers, backing singers and musicians, and the supporting acts.

Do I have any criticisms? We probably should have planned food a bit better. We didn’t have a great view of the front stage. I would have liked a couple more songs from “Speak Now” and I wouldn’t have ended on her two most recent albums simply because I don’t like them as much. But none of those things stopped me from having a great evening.

I am so incredibly grateful that luck was on my side and I got to go. Now excuse me while I go and relisten to all her albums this summer…

Do you have tickets or have you been?

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