From March to August of 2023, pop superstar and international sensation Taylor Alison Swift (33) embarked upon the first North American leg of her monumental “Eras Tour.” The award-winning concert experience consists of over three hours of Taylor Swift’s greatest hits from her seventeen-year career. It is a testament to her staggering success, unparalleled by her contemporaries. Concord Academy is far from immune to Swiftmania; last May, countless community members, from students to faculty, donned their themed outfits and friendship bracelets to attend her three Foxborough shows the weekend before major assessments, memorizing the lyrics of All Too Well (10 Minute Version) rather than their biology flashcards. Taylor Swift is an undeniable cultural phenomenon. Examining her record-breaking tour is one (yet particularly potent) method of investigating her impact on American and global society. 

Swift’s most recent tour truly is record-breaking. Slated to last over a year and a half, well into the fall of 2024, the tour is expected to gross over one billion dollars, with most sources projecting a $1.4 billion gross before she added fifteen more North American tour dates. If these estimates come to fruition, she would blow past previous record-holder Elton John with his farewell tour, which grossed “merely” $939 million. On the tour's opening night in Glendale, Arizona, Swift shattered the record for most-attended concert by a female artist, which was previously held by Madonna. She has gone on to break venue records in seventeen of the twenty stadiums she has played in on the tour so far. 

Ticketmaster reports that on the first day of sales, The Eras tour sold more tickets than any other artist in a single day, at over 2 million tickets sold. When Swift stopped in Seattle this July, the activity in Lumen Field registered as a 2.3 magnitude earthquake. These numbers are crucially relevant because they prove the overwhelming power held by Taylor Swift. Even the most sardonic Baby Boomer could not reasonably argue with industry experts who compare Swift’s influence to Beatlemania. 

The Eras Tour’s global economic impact cannot be understated. One study from QuestionPro suggests that it could add $5 billion to the global economy based on data showing that the average Eras Tour attendee spends $1,300 in concert-related expenses. More certain information comes from analysis of her initial North American shows. Swift’s weekends in Philadelphia and Chicago revitalized the region’s tourism industry, with Philadelphia witnessing its highest hotel revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago’s Eras Tour Weekend broke the all-time record for hotel occupancy in the city. Although, the Eras Tour boom was far from limited to the hotel industry: money flowed into public transportation and local craft stores due to the Swiftie ritual of friendship bracelet trading before and after the show. Glendale, Arizona, reported that The Eras Tour benefited local businesses more than the Superbowl, which was hosted in the city only a month prior. Swift’s ability to vitalize a region's social and economic landscape even solicited the attention of world leaders such as Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, both of whom have publicly requested Swift add tour dates in their countries.  

No conversation about the impact of The Eras Tour would be complete without acknowledging the obscene carbon emissions caused by Swift’s transportation and the rampant consumerism encouraged by her merchandise production. The Eras Tour holds many benefits for our society but is less than ideal for our environment. 

Many things could explain the fanaticism surrounding Taylor Swift’s latest tour, such as post-COVID demand shock or her pandering to the passionate market of teenage girls. Or maybe she’s just that good.