Taylor Swift, Beyoncé lead major star-powered economy boost

Los Angeles, California - Three years after the pandemic wiped out the live music scene, fans are flocking again to see their favorite stars on stage, with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé raking it in with tours that are giving local economies a boost.

Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour is projected to become the first tour to gross $1 billion.
Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour is projected to become the first tour to gross $1 billion.  © KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Swiftmania is at an all-time high, and it is leaping from the stadium to the cinema, where a film on Swift's The Eras Tour out Friday in over 100 countries worldwide has already clocked up more than $100 million in ticket pre-sales.

The tour itself, which finishes in December 2024, is poised to become the first tour to make $1 billion.

According to Maria Psyllou, an economist at Britain's Birmingham University who has written about the trickle-down effect of Swift's tour, the six concerts in Los Angeles added $320 million to that county's GDP.

Lizzo wows with Hollywood glamor at Breakthrough Prize ceremony
Lizzo Lizzo wows with Hollywood glamor at Breakthrough Prize ceremony

"A big phenomenon" was how New York Federal Reserve President John Williams described the Taylor Swift effect last month.

Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour greatly aided Sweden

The first two stops of Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour helped boost the Swedish economy.
The first two stops of Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour helped boost the Swedish economy.  © IMAGO / Cover-Images

The war in Ukraine is usually cited as a key factor for the cost-of-living crisis in Europe but in Sweden, the party held up as responsible for higher-than-expected inflation in May was none other than Beyoncé.

Consumer prices rose by a higher-than-expected 9.7 percent in May year-on-year, with increased costs of certain goods and services, such as clothing and hotel visits, offsetting a decrease in electricity and food prices.

Michael Grahn, chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, said Beyonce's first two dates on her first solo tour in seven years were probably to blame.

Justin Bieber smooches Jaden Smith before surprise Coachella performance!
Justin Bieber Justin Bieber smooches Jaden Smith before surprise Coachella performance!

Tens of thousands of fans flocked to Stockholm for the gigs, adding between 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points to the inflation caused by hotel and restaurant prices, according to Grahn.

Music nostalgia adds additional economic boost

K-pop sensation BTS earned more than an estimated $900 million at each of their concerts in 2022.
K-pop sensation BTS earned more than an estimated $900 million at each of their concerts in 2022.  © Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

In its decade-long existence, K-pop boy band BTS - on pause as several members do their compulsory military service - has added billions of dollars to the South Korean economy.

The Hyundai Research Institute in 2018 estimated that the first entirely South Korean group to top the US and UK charts brought its country more than $3.6 billion in annual economic benefits.

In 2022, the Korea Institute of Culture and Tourism estimated each BTS concert made 1.22 trillion won (more than $900 million).

More than a half-century after The Beatles broke up, Liverpool, the birthplace of its four band members, continues to attract nostalgic fans.

Beatles-themed museums, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tours of key sites in their journey as a band, including the Cavern Club, where they started out, and the storied Penny Lane, all contribute to Fab Four tourism estimated at 120 million pounds annually (nearly $150 million), according to the city's council.

Liverpool is not alone in the pop nostalgia market.

Memphis in Tennessee, home to Elvis Presley's former property Graceland, is another key site of pilgrimage for fans, while Jamaica is an essential destination for Bob Marley lovers.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Cover-Images & KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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