The Eras Tour Tailgating


Credit: Chloe Zilembo

WSPN’s Chloe Zilembo shares what fans without tickets did at Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour.”

Chloe Zilembo

Taylor Swift is one of the most popular artists of the 21st century and it wasn’t surprising to many of her fans that she sold out her newest tour. Recently, Swift came to Gillette Stadium for “The Eras Tour.” The concerts were very hard to get tickets for, which left many people wanting to tailgate outside the stadium so that they could still hear the music and see the lights. Tailgating is when people hang out outside the stadium or in their cars nearby. However, Gillette does not allow tailgating without a ticket.

An estimated 20,000 Taylor Swift fans were congregated outside of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, leaving some New England Swift fans without tickets hopeful that they would be able to listen to the concert. Their hopes were soon crushed when the Foxborough Police released a statement saying that people without tickets shouldn’t be tailgating due to traffic issues.

Foxborough is not a big city like Philadelphia, so there were concerns about the roads being so backed up that people with tickets wouldn’t be able to get into the venue safely. The only way to get to the stadium is through Route 1, a freeway with only two lanes on each side, increasing the possibility of traffic build-up.

If fans had been allowed to tailgate outside of the stadium, those that did have tickets would have had to walk across Route 1 to get to the stadium, creating more traffic hazards. State police were stationed at the crosswalk from the general parking lot to Patriots Place, where Gillette Stadium is located, to help guide traffic and all of Swift’s fans.

Despite the warning issued by the police, many people without tickets parked in private lots further away from the venue. This cost a good amount of money, but still cost a lot less than a ticket to the concert, which ranged from $49 to $499. In contrast, the cost for parking was between $30 to $60.

Much like the fans in Philadelphia, Swift’s fans gathered outside Gillette Stadium to listen to the show. Many looked through a small opening where the stage was visible.

Users on the social media app TikTok posted their experiences listening to the concert outside the stadium. Some reasoned that there was no problem with tailgating because there is a shopping mall right next to Gillette Stadium that is open to the public. Some thought that since the mall was a public area, the police couldn’t tell them to leave.

In TikTok videos posted by fans, large groups of people can be seen in Swift-inspired outfits based on her albums on the steps of Patriots Place. The atmosphere was different than inside the concert, with some fans glad that they experienced the concert in a different way.

People still traded beaded bracelets with each other, much like fans inside the venue. The beaded bracelets are an “Eras Tour” tradition where fans make bracelets based on Swift’s albums, songs, lyrics or other references. Some fans believed that tailgating provided a similar experience to being inside the venue.

Even though tailgating outside was originally prohibited at Gillette Stadium, many die-hard Taylor Swift fans still decided to go to Patriots Place. In watching what many deem to be the “Tour of the Decade,” some fans had no regrets in making the effort to tailgate.