February 29, 2024

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Taylor Swift Eras Tour: When you can’t get tickets, listen from the parking lot

PHILADELPHIA — Daniela Melo, 29, was on Facebook recently when she caught a thread from her neighborhood group: strategies on how to sneak into the Eagles football field for Taylor Swift’s run-out ERAS. Someone suggested maybe bribing an hourly employee. Others have advised that if you confidently hold a ladder, you can enter almost anywhere.

“I mean, they were all crazy ideas,” Milo said. “But the thing is, one of the comments that caught my attention the most was like, ‘This is actually more realistic than actually getting tickets. “

Although the commentators were (probably?) joking, the incredibly tough odds of scoring tickets for Swift’s 52-date stadium tour are no joke — which is what drove Milo and her fiancé to the precinct outside the gates of Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night. , as they sat on concrete parking barriers near a sign for Lot K. Around them, thousands of other Swift fans crowded the parking lots and blocked off the streets by the stadium, screaming, dancing, singing and sometimes crying as Swift’s vocals reverberated between the massive loudspeakers inside the venue. . If they can’t see a pop star, they sure can hear her.

“We’re lucky we’re in the same city as you,” said Jackie Gole, 27, of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. I sat on a blanket on the floor with friends in Lot F, where you could hear the music surprisingly clearly, thanks to what one person described as a “sound tunnel” gap in the stadium’s architecture. For Eagles games, the folks explained, security usually patrols over those past their welcome — but Gaul and her friends correctly assumed that no official in their right mind would risk upsetting die-hard Swift fans by asking them to leave.

So the Swifties gathered in full force, bringing blankets, bean bags, drinks and snacks. They knew that, even without setting eyes on the singer, they were still a part of the experience. Over the course of her 17-year career, Swift, 33, has created an unusually close relationship with her fans by emphasizing that she is one of them and that they are all part of one big friend group. In return, they created strong bonds with each other, practically speaking in their own language as they analyzed Swift’s music and all her moves in general.

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The group sing-along with thousands staring at the stadium — the second of Swift’s three-night stay in Philadelphia, which residents of Wyoming, Pa., called her hometown — created a sense of religious experience in a sea of ​​sequin dresses, pink cowboy hats and elaborate outfits with a fast-paced theme, such as The one that includes a mop and broom to symbolize Swift’s song “Clean”.

“What other concert do you see that many people sitting outside the stadium, in the alleyways, on the floor?” To the shock and dismay of D.C.-area residents, Swift didn’t schedule any tour dates, Anna Mason, 24, said as she perched on the edge of a pier with two friends from Washington. “Everyone is so special, so, so nice, it’s just a great community.”

“There are a lot of people here who want to be inside,” said Shreya Srinivasan, 23, of suburban Philly, who settled on a lawn chair on 11th Street next to her father and sister. “And they’re still making the most of it.”

It’s hard to say how the massive outdoor gatherings of the Eras Tour (“Tayl-gates”?) got started, but inspired by the TikToks that popped up during the Tampa concerts in mid-April, Swifties found a corner just right outside Raymond James Stadium, So they had a direct view of the Jumbotron. “You can see everything perfectly, and enjoy a nice little picnic on the grass,” I mentioned one. Others followed suit in Atlanta and Nashville, even without the screens.

But it also began in November, when tickets for the Eras Tour on Ticketmaster sold out so quickly and catastrophically that they sparked a congressional hearing on consolidation in the ticket industry; The company blamed bot attacks and “huge demand” on Swift, which they said could have filled “900 stadiums”. More than two million people got tickets, but not many of them. Hype for the show—a three-hour, 15-minute show with 44 songs, a journey through the “eras” of Swift’s music—has been building since the tour kicked off in March.

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On the sidewalks and in much of Philadelphia, fans were pinning their hopes on stories of trying to secure tickets and staring intently at their phones, watching for last-minute Ticketmaster drop-offs. They waited in virtual queues for hours, even though the monitors inevitably said there were more than 2,000 people in front of them. Rumors circulated of stadium staff issuing tickets at the box office during the opening ceremony. Some scouted secondary-market sites for a drop in resale prices, though the cost seemed to rise the more modernized it was, hovering around $1,800 for “obstructed vision” seats as the Swift hit the stage.

“Monopoly is not okay,” said Tara Ketterer, 39, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who arrived at noon with her 12-year-old daughter and their friends to buy the best parking spot. They caught the good looks when they also watched from outside the stadium on Friday.

“Doesn’t anyone cry?” asked one of the women, dejected, as I drifted toward Will’s window about half an hour after the show had begun, in case an unlikely miracle should occur. I vowed to come back on Sunday for the third show to try again.

Although there were some tear-stained faces (“It’s so unfair, I want to go home!” cried a teenage woman who fell on a camping chair outside her family’s car), most fans were determined to enjoy the second best, which was swallowed up in a flurry of Swifties. Cheerful that sing their hearts out. You can’t hear Swift’s fans banter between songs, but fans in parking lots went wild when they heard the opening notes of her biggest hits, like “You Belong With Me,” “Love Story,” “Shake It Off,” and “So Alright (10-Minute Version) And they sang along to every song.

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“I don’t know, it’s quite literally a cult,” Gianni Fowler, 19, said cheerfully, standing near the stadium entrance, when asked what makes Swift’s fan base so loyal.

“Everyone is so connected, I feel, and everyone loves Taylor. The mutual connection is really great,” said Abby Crispin, 19, who traveled with Fowler from New Jersey. “Everyone is great, everyone is energetic, it’s a really good group —”

“Oh come on!” When a car alarm suddenly starts blaring nearby, someone yelled the venting belt of Swift’s “Enchanted” chorus: “Sparkling tonight, don’t let her go.”

But Swifties soon learned the advantages of space unrestricted by sitting: There was more room to dance and dance to “Look What You Made Me Do,” more room to fall dramatically to the floor and shout the words “illicit affairs.” There was more time for the making and trading of friendship bracelets, a tradition than the fast-paced tours.

And there was the ability to chat with people around you, like Milo — a fan who spotted people planning to storm the stadium — and her fiancé Chris Calligan, 29, who quickly befriended people in their corner of the lot and accepted their lack of party photos.

said Milo, who got dressed “Me and Karma vibe like that” Sparkly shirt and jacket. “But this is cool. Honestly, I love it.”

“After two hours of the show, we paid zero dollars,” Calligan assures, showing off his “Swift Philadelphia” T-shirt.

Jasmine Chen, 27, a woman they met that night, hit tickets multiple times, including falling prey to some scam attempts. But she also decided to have a positive attitude.

“We can pay zero dollars, and make 10 new friends,” she triumphantly added.