Taylor Swift mania hits Australia with Eras Tour ahead of biggest show of her career

Melbourne, Australia – Die-hard Taylor Swift fans flocked to a Melbourne stadium early Friday, snapping up merchandise hours before the first Australian date of her money-raking, two-year-long The Eras Tour kicked off.

Taylor Swift fans flocked to Melbourne early Friday to snap up merchandise hours before The Eras Tour hit Australia.
Taylor Swift fans flocked to Melbourne early Friday to snap up merchandise hours before The Eras Tour hit Australia.  © Collage: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

The 34-year-old megastar begins night one of seven Australia shows in Melbourne on Friday, the first of three stadium gigs in the city, before heading to Sydney for four more sold-out dates.

The Eras Tour, which takes fans through the Swift discography, broke Ticketmaster records and is predicted to be the highest-grossing music tour of all time, netting about $1 billion in ticket sales, according to Pollstar, a trade publication.

Friday night's show is reportedly the biggest audience of her career, where she will perform to an audience of about 100,000.

Travis Kelce did the sweetest thing at Taylor Swift's London Eras Tour concert
Taylor Swift Travis Kelce did the sweetest thing at Taylor Swift's London Eras Tour concert

"The main thing that got me into her was probably the lyrics and how I can relate them to so many different situations", said 21-year-old Australian fan Kendra Harris, who has been waiting months to see her hero in the flesh.

"I also love how she's so communicative with fans. She posts a lot of things on her social media and will comment on people's TikToks, so it feels like she truly knows you," said Harris.

"She definitely has a close relationship with fans. I know she used to invite fans to her house to listen to the album early, so I feel like doing things like that just shows how much she cares."

With many fans coming from overseas or inter-state and tickets hard to come by, hotel groups are offering ticket-and-lodging packages that run into the thousands of dollars.

When and where is Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour playing in Australia?

The Melbourne University Swifties Society members displayed their bracelets as Taylor Swift fans gathered for a "fanposium" in Melbourne earlier this week ahead of her Australia shows.
The Melbourne University Swifties Society members displayed their bracelets as Taylor Swift fans gathered for a "fanposium" in Melbourne earlier this week ahead of her Australia shows.  © WILLIAM WEST / AFP

Fans were also gearing up for the Aussie concerts by creating Swift-themed friendship bracelets, preparing outfits, and learning "fan chants" to belt out during performances. Bead kits have reportedly sold out in some Melbourne and Sydney stores, as fans have rushed to make the bracelets, which are traditionally traded before shows.

"I've made like six or seven, but I would like to make a few more before the concert ... you trade them with people and I think people just give them if you don't have any," said Harris.

Many concert outfits will be inspired by Swift's self-described Eras, her transformation through a range of musical genres, from country to pop.

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Following last year's re-release of her album 1989, Swift has made around $500 million from streaming royalties and music purchases such as tracks, albums, CDs, LPs and cassettes, according to Billboard.

"I saw the Eras Tour movie in cinemas and that just made me even more excited, it looks amazing and I'm excited to hear what surprise songs we get as well," said Harris.

Promotion for the tour has been as carefully choreographed as the performance on stage, and helped by Swift recently scooping her fourth Album of the Year prize at the Grammys, followed by a much-hyped appearance at the Super Bowl, where she cheered on boyfriend Travis Kelce of the winning Kansas City Chiefs.

The power of Taylor Swift has even seeped into academia, with the University of Melbourne holding a "Swiftposium" to discuss her influence across a range of disciplines.

"Fans view her a lot more as the friend-next-door than they do as a billionaire superpower, which is the reality of what she is," sociologist Georgia Carroll told the gathering.

Cover photo: Collage: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

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