Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated Eras Tour kicks off Friday in Arizona, and fans will have no cost to attend: Tickets, travel and accommodations, and their outfits, most of which were purchased or hand-crafted for in the activity.
Julia Gretz earned the goodwill of fellow Swifties with her post on her The dress Taylor made on TikTok. Gretz skimped on a jean jacket and added rhinestones and pink fringe, perfect for a Lover-themed look. She added a skirt, pink cowboy boots that she already owned, and a t-shirt as finishing touches; he estimates that the entire ensemble, including the pieces he already owns, is worth about $150. Although he lives in Virginia, the 25-year-old will drive to Pittsburgh to see the show, staying with friends and family to keep costs down.
He spent around $400 for a floor seat ticket, less than the $500 he originally budgeted. And while the Eras Tour is pre-sale on Ticketmaster makes headlines due to the number of fans who were left upset or unable to secure tickets—and to put up with Ticketmaster under intense public scrutiny—Gretz is happy to pay the cost of admission, even if it means planning a week away from home.
“I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes, vacations, or other personal things, so I see concerts as a special occasion,” Gretz, who has been a fan of Swift since her debut album came out pop star, said. . “You only live once, go and enjoy this unique experience, you will have it forever. I still remember the first Taylor Swift concert I went to very clearly.
The tour starts in Glendale, Arizona—temporarily named Swift City for the big events on Friday and Saturday—and Swifties flock to the city. Local businesses have created a small economy around the tour, hosting listening partiesMAKE Swift-themed cocktailsand putting on a drag brunch show to celebrate the American singer.
Gretz hopes to reuse the dress after the concert; she already owns the cowboy boots from her bachelorette party, and thinks she might wear them all again when friends have their pre-wedding parties in popular destinations like Nashville.
Some fans don’t seem too bothered about wearing it again. There are many videos and photos on social media sites like TikTok and Reddit of bejeweled bodysuits and recreations of Swift’s past music videos and red carpet ensembles, labors of love that allow fans to physically review their favorite album or song.
Gretz said he shouldn’t feel pressured to spend money on a fancy look; he is a crafty person and wants to do something special. But platforms like TikTok make it easy for fans to post their concert-specific looks and have thousands of other die-hards cheering them on. Harry Styles concerts have become mini-fashion shows in their own right; the trend continues to revolve around Swift.
Unfortunately, however, other aspects of the concert-going experience have become too much, Gretz said. He was lucky that he could afford the floor seats and only had to pay for gas for the six-hour trip to Pittsburgh; Some fans—of Swift and many other artists—are completely priceless.
“It’s unfortunate that ticket prices have gone up because it makes it harder for people to see their favorite artists,” Gretz said. “You don’t just go and buy a ticket last week; it is pre-planned, like a vacation. It’s an experiential thing that gets bigger.”