In November of 2022, Taylor Swift announced that she would be embarking on The Eras Tour, an homage to Swift’s entire discography through her 17-year career. Throughout her 3.5-hour concert, Swift performs 44 songs, from varying “eras” of her albums. Between the elaborate set designs, costume changes and, of course, the two different surprise songs each night, Swift’s tour is on track to become one of the highest-grossing musical tours of all time.
Fans who were lucky enough to snag a ticket amidst the Ticketmaster debacle know what a big deal attending one of the Eras shows is. Even though Swift is visiting more than twenty cities in the U.S. alone, several fans still were left to travel in order to attend their shows. If you live in a city where Swift performed, it's likely that it took over much of the local news coverage. Several cities celebrated the arrival of Swift by renaming their cities for the few days she was in town. On her first stop, the mayor of Glendale, Arizona, officially renamed the city of Glendale “Swift City.” Fans who were able to arrive early lined up the morning before the show to snag their merchandise (especially the famous blue crewneck).
Because thousands of fans were left to travel long distances to attend the concert, there have been several cities that have noticed massive economic growth due to Swift visiting their city for just a few days at a time. Swifties are estimated to be spending an average of $1,300-$1,500 on outfits, merchandise, dining and travel expenses. The sheer number of fans attending one night of the tour in a given city can boost the economic growth of a city by millions of dollars in one weekend.
The Eras Tour has been attributed to a fan frenzy called Swiftmania, an emphasis on Swift’s hold on twenty-first-century pop culture not seen since the Beatles at their peak. The two nights Swift spent in Glendale, Arizona, were more profitable for local businesses than Super Bowl LVII, also held in Glendale in February 2023. In both Chicago, Illinois, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Eras Tour broke all-time records for hotel reservations. In Cincinnati, Ohio, spending in relation to Swift hit approximately 48 million U.S. dollars. Swift was deemed a “public transit savior” according to CNN, as many out-of-state fans relied on public transportation systems struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Atlanta, Georgia, over 140 thousand fans used the city’s public transportation to and from Mercedes-Benz Stadium over three nights of Swift’s stay.
Before embarking on The Eras Tour, Swift hadn’t toured since 2018 on her Reputation Stadium Tour. Since then, Swift’s body of work has grown immensely to hold seven number-one albums, including four re-recorded albums after the 2019 controversial sale of Swift’s masters. The project is a crusade to reclaim Swift’s music back to the source, deemed as a feminist cultural standpoint in the modern age. At her first show in Nashville, Tennessee, she announced “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” a rerecording of a 12-year-old album, causing major fan responses in person and online. Much of the Nashville infrastructure was lit purple by the city as a celebration of Swift’s work. At her final show in Los Angeles, California, she announced “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which is expected to be her largest rerecording project yet. Sofi Stadium’s roof was illuminated with the album announcement.
On Aug. 31, 2023, Swift announced on her official social media accounts that she is releasing a filmed version of The Eras Tour in North America’s AMC theaters on Oct. 13, 2023. The film is expected to make approximately $100 million at the box office opening weekend.
After her 53 shows in the United States, Swift embarked internationally to complete the tour with 78 international dates, concluding in summer 2024. The Eras Tour is expected to gross upwards of a billion dollars, and Swift is currently the second-wealthiest woman in music.
Ultimately, Taylor Swift has become a cultural icon. From a former victim of the 2000s and 2010s “maligned woman” phenom, to her modern-era success on tour, Swift’s legacy is unparalleled and unpredictable. Her economic boost has already been named “Taylornomics,” and pop culture will continue to see more and more of Swift and her historical impact on the music industry.
By Haileigh West, Associate Editor and Kat Whetstone, Contributing Writer
Graphic by Shae-Lynn Henderson, EIC