Scottish Swifties ready for Edinburgh leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour

Estimated read time 4 min read

The friendship bracelets have been woven, the chants practised and the outfits curated. Next weekend well over 200,000 Taylor Swift fans will descend on the Scottish capital as the star begins the UK leg of her blockbuster Eras tour in the city.

Before the crescendo of three sold-out concerts at Murrayfield on 7, 8 and 9 June, the buildup has encompassed online decoding of the singer’s now famous hidden song messages, in-person pre-parties and the inevitable shameless cash-ins.

“As a Swiftie in Scotland, its just really exciting to have her coming here first,” said Carla McCormack, who last month taught an introductory evening class about Swift at Glasgow Clyde college to prepare mums, dads and other baffled plus-ones for the Eras experience.

“It’s a different level in terms of concertgoing,” McCormack said, “and there will be people who have spent a lot of money on tickets and don’t know what to expect.”

Students were taught the audience responses that have become standard on the tour so far – chanting “Taylor you’ll be fine” at a specific line in the song Anti-Hero, or raising hands in a heart shape as the crowd sways along to Fearless.

McCormack also provided a precis of “who all the main characters are in the story of Taylor Swift – the big rivalry with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, the long list of ex-boyfriends, having to re-record because of Scooter Braun”. (After a dispute over ownership of her first six studio albums with Braun’s company, Swift rereleased four of them.)

Elena Soper, another dedicated Scottish Swiftie, is expecting “a really mixed European crowd” at the Edinburgh shows. “We saw how difficult it was to get tickets to shows in the US so when they went on sale for the European tour people went a bit wild and registered for lots of dates just in case. I know people coming from Paris and Poland as well as Scots.”

She said there was frantic speculation across online fan groups that Swift has planned a “big announcement” for one of the Edinburgh shows, possibly the release of another re-recorded album.

With such a dedicated fanbase known for their appreciation of quirky merch, it’s no great shock that local businesses and tourist venues are dialling up the hoopla for the weekend to come.

The Scots-Italian ice-cream maker Equi’s has created the Swiftie Swirl flavour for the duration, the city’s Camera Obscura attraction has dedicated a giant kaleidosphere to the sequined star, while Tynecastle Park, close to the stadium, is hosting all-ages Swiftie Bingo sessions.

Across the weekend, Edinburgh city council will provide dedicated marshals – armed with mobile phone chargers – to assist the crowds, and local residents have already been given notice of road closures around Murrayfield.

As with most things in life, there is a shadow side to the cresting anticipation. Accommodation prices have soared, with many hotels, B&Bs and short-let flats fully booked months in advance and estimates that single-night rates have increased by nearly 50%.

These concerns were sharpened when BBC Scotland revealed this week that several homeless people had been sent via taxi to Aberdeen and Glasgow amid a shortage of accommodation. The housing charity Shelter said was “a blatant injustice” for homeless people to be “in direct competition” with tourists. Edinburgh city council said it was working with affected households to find “appropriate, alternative accommodation”.

Dave Fawbert, the creator of the UK-wide Swiftageddon club night, who will be hosting a series of pre-parties in Edinburgh this weekend, said the Eras tour marked a significant moment for the artist and her fans.

“It has been this perfect storm – for Taylor herself it’s a victory lap for her 20-year career, after she belatedly got the critical acclaim she deserved, and it’s her first tour since Reputation in 2018,” he said.

“For the fans, people are still coming out of the pandemic and everyone is looking for shared experience. This is the biggest thing I’ve seen since the heyday of Michael Jackson in the late 80s and early 90s and it comes at a time when celebrity is increasingly fragmented, where one artist is massively well known on TikTok and the next person hasn’t heard of them. It’s a joyous moment and people are ready to celebrate and go mad for a month.”


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