May 12, 2023 - Economy

Inside the booming Taylor Swift economy

Photo Illustration of Taylor Swift with gemstone and letter bead overlays

Photo Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios. Photo: Octavio Jones, Terence Rushin/Getty Images

Taylor Swift's 52-night, 20-city tour through the U.S. is breaking attendance records — and poised to be one of the highest-grossing tours of all time.

  • But the Eras Tour's influence and impact extends beyond just ticket and merch sales.

The big picture: The pop star's concerts are fueling an entire Taylor Swift economy — as fans spend big on travel, lodging, food, fashion and makeup to attend the shows.

What's happening: Many fans are traveling to different states to catch shows because they grabbed whatever tickets they could get. And each stop on the tour is prepping for a mini boom when Swift rolls through.

  • Glendale, Arizona, the tour's first stop, temporarily renamed itself "Swift City," and hotel rates skyrocketed as fans poured in from around the country and world, the Arizona Republic reports.
  • In Houston, Swift boosted hotel occupancy rates more than the NCAA men's Final Four, Axios Houston's Shafaq Patel writes. Her three-night stint in the city resulted in Houston's highest hotel revenue week of 2023, according to a local tourism agency.
  • In Nashville, a slew of bars and restaurants as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame drew in patrons with special Swift-themed events when she was in town, Axios Nashville's Adam Tamburin and Katie Lewis write.

Emily Althoff, a graduate student in Minneapolis, traveled to Nashville with her mom for the concert.

  • "I met folks from the Yukon [Canada], Portland, New York City and Miami," she says.
An Eras Tour tradition: Fans trade friendship bracelets. Photo: Emily Althoff

What to watch: Philadelphia, where Swift is playing this weekend, is prepping for its rush.

  • Case in point: The Courtyard by Marriott in South Philly, located near the concert venue, is completely booked, which is not typical for when a musical act plays at the more than 65,000-seat stadium.
  • "It's off the charts," Ben Fileccia, a Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association spokesperson, tells Axios Philadelphia's Michael D'Onofrio.

Fans are also spending big on bejeweled boots, custom jackets, and hair and makeup looks to show out for the concerts.

  • Amazon, Poshmark and other retailers are selling pages and pages of Eras Tour outfits.
  • Karishma Hingorani, a Detroit resident, who's attending two Swift shows in the summer, commissioned a local embroidery shop to make her a custom denim jacket depicting all of the pop star's 10 albums. "Cost more than my ticket," she says.
Photo courtesy of Karishma Hingorani

The bottom line: It's "Swiftonomics," writes Bloomberg's Augusta Saraiva.

  • "Swifties represent an extreme version of the turbocharged consumers willing to splurge on everything they missed during the pandemic."

Go deeper: Blockbuster summer of concerts

Go deeper