Going to see Taylor Swift? You're helping the economy


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The Eras Tour - the highest-grossing music tour in history - is big business for Sydney and Melbourne but for Taylor Swift fans, it's money well spent.

In case you hadn't heard, Taylor Swift landed in Melbourne today ahead of her seven-concert Eras Tour in Australia - no doubt still on a high from her NFL boyfriend's win at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

If you're a fan and have tickets, her arrival in the country is great news.

taylor swift eras tour economy

If you're a fan and missed out on tickets, it's still great news ... for the economy. The dollars about to flow into Sydney and Melbourne during the megastar's performances are big bucks indeed.

What Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is adding to the economy

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp expects the city to rake in $1.2 billion from Swift's three shows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between February 16 and 18.

Considering Melbourne's major events bring in an average $3.3 billion over a whole year, $1.2 billion in takings is not bad at all for one weekend

In Sydney, an estimated 66,000 Swifties are flying in from interstate (including Melbournites who missed out on getting tickets in their own hometown) and overseas.

The influx is already proving a boon for the tourism industry in NSW.

Swifties descend on Sydney  

Katherine Levine, a 28-year-old fan from Dunedin, New Zealand, is flying to Sydney with her husband and twin toddlers to attend the concert, staying a few days either side of it to see the sights and catch up with family.

Her brother and mum are also flying over to babysit while she and husband Adam go to the concert.

"I've been dying to go to a Taylor Swift concert so the moment it was announced I knew I had to get tickets," Katherine says. "She's an amazing singer and songwriter and comes across as such a genuine person."

Husband Adam Levine, also 28, says he was so keen to go because "it will be the live music tour of the decade".

Along with the cost of tickets, flights, food and entertainment during their visit (they're saving on accommodation by staying with family), they are also planning to splash out on concert merch.

With an estimated $60,000 in merch sales expected, they will not be the only ones splashing out.

$135,000 lost on Taylor Swift ticket scams

But some fans will miss out not just on the chance to buy concert merch, but to go to the concerts at all.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch, 273 people have reported being scammed into buying fake Taylor Swift tickets on social media - $135,000 has been lost so far.

Official tickets to the Australian concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale, leaving dedicated fans scrambling to get their hands on tickets especially vulnerable to scams.

The Eras Tour has officially become the highest grossing music tour in history, and the first to make more than $1 billion.

The Guinness Book of World Records reported in December 2023 that Swift's 151-concert tour had beaten the previous record holder, Sir Elton John's 382-show Farewell Tour, which ended in 2023. By the time Swift wraps up her Eras Tour in December 2024, she will have raked in close to $2 billion.

Melbourne's Swiftposium

Melbourne University held a three-day Swiftposium on the impact of the megastar this month, with the call for academic papers attracting hundreds of submissions from around the world.

"It can be tempting for some people to pigeonhole a conference like this as 'trivial' but that couldn't be further from the truth," says Swiftposium steering committee chair Dr Eloise Faichney.

"Taylor is hugely influential. She is not only a superstar as an artist, but her influence is wide-reaching in ways few other people have ever achieved - music, business, community building, politics, law."

The Eras tour, her sixth concert tour, pays homage to the 10 albums Swift has made over the past 17 years. During that time, she has evolved her music style, become a savvy businesswoman and taken a stance on industry and social issues.

Swifties like Katherine and Adam approve.

"She's a great role model for women as she stays true to herself and creates a space for herself in an industry typically run by men," Katherine says. "She's a bit of a spokesperson for women's rights."

Adam agrees: "Politicians pretty much bow down to her power in popular culture now, which I think says a lot. And she's outspoken toward streaming platforms. Even the rerelease album is a big eff you to the music machine; in a world where men would try to use her for their benefit, she transcends them."

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Joanna Tovia is a freelance journalist. She is the former personal finance editor of The Daily Telegraph and author of Eco-Wise & Wealthy, a book about saving money by going green at home. She has worked as a journalist in the US, UK and Australia writing about money, travel, design and wellbeing. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Paul Daniel
February 18, 2024 6.36am

Yes, good for the NSW & Vic economies, but perhaps also good for the banking economies? I know friend's of my daughter who are attending (we reside in Perth) have put a fair bit onto their credit card. I wonder how many others have done the same?