Taylor Swift’s ticket-less fans are partying in the parking lot & ‘Taylor-gating’

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Would you pay thousands of dollars to see your favorite singer? That’s the question facing legions of Taylor Swift fans because Ticketmaster screwed up ticket sales for her Eras tour so badly, and then resellers immediately price-gouged the available supply. Instead of shelling out for tickets, many Swifties are choosing to tailgate in the parking lot at her concerts and sing along from outside the arena. They even have a cute name for it: Taylor-gating. The Today show covered this recently.

A​​s Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour continues around the country, fans aren’t letting Ticketmaster get in the way of catching a glimpse at the sold-out shows.

Swifties are taking over streets and parking lots near the Eras Tour venues to sing along to their favorite songs without having to enter the stadiums — an act that fans have deemed “Taylor-gating.”

“I’m sure Taylor heard double the voices she was expecting because we were all out there singing even though we weren’t inside,” Michaela Hogan, a fan who attended one of Swift’s Nashville concerts from a parking lot, said on a TODAY segment that aired May 19.

The growing trend gives fans who didn’t score a seat to the 52-night tour a chance to hear Swift’s songs after a bungled ticketing process from Ticketmaster late last year.

But fans aren’t letting their lack of tickets stop them from crisscrossing the country to be near the concert venues. Officials in Glendale, Arizona, where Swift started the tour, said tourism traffic rivaled turnout for the Super Bowl.

“I wanna cry, I wanna throw up, and I wanna pass out,” said one fan of the atmosphere at a Philadelphia Taylor-gate.

Fans are bringing snacks, drinks and even air mattresses to their tailgates, which is costing them much less than the tickets being sold for thousands of dollars on ticket resale sites.

[From Today]

With a megastar like Taylor Swift, the demand for tickets is going to be sky high, and for every person who got a ticket there are probably twenty people who missed out. I’m glad the Swifties are having fun out there in the parking lots. Often the best part of a concert is that feeling of community and connection with other fans, so I’m happy the Taylor-gaters are experiencing that. It is significantly cheaper than the concert tickets themselves–one man paid $21,000 for tickets for his daughter and her friends after his first purchase was suspiciously canceled by a reseller. I hope that wasn’t his daughter’s college money, my God.

This story made me think about how different concert-going was even fifteen years ago. When I was in high school, my dad surprised me with tickets to see U2 at the Rose Bowl. Our seats were good but not great, and I think they cost him $350 each. That’s expensive, but not as eye-watering as Taylor’s tickets. Dad and I also tailgated for nine hours before the show because parking at the Rose Bowl is insane. It was a long, exhausting day. But it was special to experience the show with my dad and U2 played for over three hours. It felt worth the hassle and the cost.

This was over fifteen years ago and since then, concerts have only become more expensive and difficult. It makes me wish that the federal government would turn the screws on Ticketmaster and break up their monopoly. I know that artists have some control over ticket prices, so I’m guessing that Taylor probably set her base prices higher to curb overwhelming demand. It is her first tour in five years. But the mystery “service fees”, the Ticketmaster website meltdowns, and the price-gouging from resellers are not on Taylor. All of it points to a broken system that prioritizes corporate profits over everything else. I would love it if Taylor used her great talent for scheming and one-upping her enemies, and created her own ticket-selling platform to compete with Ticketmaster. Call it…Snaketix? Swiftix? I wouldn’t put it past her.



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