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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


The cultural, economic impact of Taylor Swift

Ticket demand for The Eras Tour proves Taylor Swift never goes out of style
The cultural, economic impact of Taylor Swift
Julia Vetsch

Taylor Swift has taken the music industry by storm for nearly two decades, dabbling in multiple genres along the way. Interchanging her 10 albums between country, pop and alternative musical styles, Swift has reached many different audiences with her self-written, personal songs.

After the release of her album “Midnights” in October 2022, Swift announced The Eras Tour — a series of concerts around the world including three hours of music from throughout her entire career. The concert involves songs from nine of her 10 albums — each “era,” receiving its own time to shine.

Each concert also includes two “surprise songs,” which are random songs from her discography that are not on the official setlist. These songs leave fans anxiously waiting each night to hear what Swift plays next, hoping their favorite song doesn’t play before their own concert date. Fans arrive in elaborate costumes, each representing their favorite era.


The Eras Tour began March 2023, and ticket sales remain highly competitive. Originally, the demand for Eras Tour tickets was so great that Ticketmaster crashed during presale, even while requiring a code that was sent to only a small percentage of Taylor’s fans. The tickets sold out so fast that general sale of tickets was canceled, sparking disappointment and outrage among “Swifties” everywhere. Since then, tickets have been resold for thousands of dollars, many eager fans willing to pay whatever it takes.

University of Wisconsin student and Taylor Swift fan Becca Kaminski had a harrowing Ticketmaster experience.

“My friends and I were in line from when it opened until about 2 p.m.,” Kaminski said. “Five hours.”

Kaminski has been a Taylor Swift fan since middle school and, like many others, dedicated her day to securing Eras Tour tickets when they became available November 2022. She says she would do it again and thinks experiencing the tour was worth it.

International UW student from Brazil, Thamyres Costa, shared a similar experience.

“I spent about eight hours in line, because it crashed,” Costa said. “The line was not moving…I even missed class because I was afraid the line was gonna start moving.”

The Eras Tour has even been credited with boosting the United States economy. According to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, Philadelphia hotel revenue in May was the strongest it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic due to the surge of guests coming to town for the Taylor Swift concerts.

The cultural impact of Taylor Swift, and especially the Eras Tour, is undeniable — clothing stores now have unspoken “Eras Tour” sections full of themes and sequins, Ticketmaster has been involved in a court case involving their monopoly over ticket sales, and Taylor’s album sales continue to rise.

She recently broke her own record for most spots occupied on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart by a female musician at once — 22 — with help from her July 2023 album “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” Few other artists have caused such a stir with a tour. What makes Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour such a cultural phenomenon?

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Costa, a Taylor Swift fan of ten years, says what makes Swift’s music stand out are the genuine lyrics that make fans feel like they’re sharing parts of their lives with her.

Costa said Swift’s ability to relate to many aspects of the human experience, throughout many stages of life, makes her music unique.

“You’re going through a breakup, or not doing well at school, you feel like your life is going too fast…or if you’re older, you feel like your friends are getting married, but you’re not,” Costa said. “It’s that feeling of representation and being able to see yourself in another person and just connecting, being able to be in the stadium with that person.” 

Though Taylor Swift is an American artist, her cultural impact doesn’t stop at U.S. borders. Costa explained the impact of the Eras Tour carries over to Brazil, which she’ll visit on Thanksgiving.

But Costa said she experienced the same thing trying to get tickets — the line stopped moving, prices skyrocketed and they missed opportunities.

“It’s actually crazy, especially considering that this is another country…that does not speak English,” Costa said.

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The tour highlights Taylor Swift’s entire career, taking the audience back to times when they were young. Swift’s first album was released in 2006 when she was just 16 years old. Many of Swift’s fans have grown and changed along with her music. Kaminski said it’s what she grew up listening to.

This, according to Costa, is another reason why the tour has been so successful. It allows fans to relive the nostalgia of when Swift’s music was first being released — when things were “easy.”

“I think that’s what makes the hype worth it,” Costa said. “[Fans are] like, ‘Whatever, I’ll pay as much as I can just so I can live that dream.’”

Taylor Swift continues to surprise fans — she recently announced “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” concert film, which will release Oct. 13 in AMC Theaters, just before the release of her album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” on Oct. 27. This film will allow fans to experience the concert on the big screen. Demand for these screenings is high, as tickets for AMC Fitchburg 18 shows are already nearly sold out over a month in advance.

The Eras Tour made its most recent stop in Mexico City on Aug. 27 and will begin again Nov. 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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