Have you heard? Have you somehow not heard? Are you waking from a six-month-long coma and desperately need someone to explain the phrase “Blink-182 submarine stepson”?
Never mind all that, for Taylor Swift is coming to town. Specifically, the singer’s Eras extravaganza will bring her to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on July 28 and 29, events for which the cheapest ticket on Stubhub is currently $1,200 for a nosebleed seat behind the stage.
In theory, Swift is simply on tour, the way other artists go on tour, in that she is traveling to different cities for musical performances. In practice, her fans crashed Ticketmaster in such a spectacular fashion that it led to a Senate hearing, and what she’s bringing to town is more like a circus put on by a small yet powerful nation-state. This thing has its own infrastructure and jurisdiction; it is its own GDP. As of June, the tour was bringing in an average of $13 million per show, putting it on track for the highest-grossing tour in music history.
Given the tour’s impact on local economies — her Chicago and Las Vegas shows were credited with briefly bringing tourism in those cities back to pre-pandemic levels — it makes sense that wherever Swift goes, politicians are stoked. Which is fine. Be stoked! Splurge on good seats, take the whole family, buy a $65 crop top.
But please, I beg of you: Stop with the corny-ass proclamations and city renamings and “honorary mayor” nonsense. I’m not sure which polls you’ve been reading, but none of the ones I’ve seen suggest that residents want their civic leaders to devote time and taxpayer dollars to working up a list of song references with their aides or daughters in a patronizing attempt to get said politician’s name in the news and ultimately appeal to white middle-class voters aged 18–42.