Behind the confidence Taylor Swift displayed on stage during her Reputation Stadium Tour last year was a lot of anxiety about keeping her fans safe.
In a candid self-written list for Elle‘s April cover story, the 29-year-old star reveals 30 things she has learned ahead of her 30th birthday on Dec. 13 — including that her “biggest fear” in wake of the May 2017 bombing at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert and the mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest music festival less than five months later was that one of her concerts would be attacked.
“After the Manchester Arena bombing and the Vegas concert shooting, I was completely terrified to go on tour this time because I didn’t know how we were going to keep 3 million fans safe over seven months,” Swift writes. “There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense, and effort put into keeping my fans safe.”
The lives of 22 people, many of which were young fans, were taken in the Manchester Arena bombing and 58 people died in the Las Vegas shooting. While Swift shares that her “fear of violence” has spread into her personal life, she doesn’t let it control her.
“I carry QuikClot army grade bandage dressing, which is for gunshot or stab wounds,” she writes. “Websites and tabloids have taken it upon themselves to post every home address I’ve ever had online. You get enough stalkers trying to break into your house and you kind of start prepping for bad things.”
“Every day I try to remind myself of the good in the world, the love I’ve witnessed and the faith I have in humanity,” she continues. “We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears.”
Despite her fears, Swift went on to have an extremely successful tour. Before wrapping in November, the Reputation Stadium Tour became the highest-grossing U.S. tour in history.
“The fans and their care for me, my well-being, and my music were the ones who pulled me through,” Swift writes. “The most emotional part of the Reputation Stadium Tour for me was knowing I was looking out at the faces of the people who helped me get back up. I’ll never forget the ones who stuck around.”
Elsewhere in the list, Swift writes that she’s learned “it’s okay to say that you don’t know what to say” when tragedy strikes in someone’s life.
“Sometimes just saying you’re so sorry is all someone wants to hear,” she writes. “It’s okay to not have any helpful advice to give them; you don’t have all the answers. However, it’s not okay to disappear from their life in their darkest hour. Your support is all someone needs when they’re at their lowest point. Even if you can’t really help the situation, it’s nice for them to know that you would if you could.”
Over the past few years, Swift has kept her private life — as well as her friendships and relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, 28 — under wraps. She recounted her up-and-down journey through fame on her 2017 album Reputation and then on her tour, but she has largely remained out of the public eye ahead of her Elle U.K. and American Elle cover stories.
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