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Swift’s Euro trek collects attendance records

The European leg of the Eras Tour is off to a record-breaking start, with Taylor Swift smashing attendance records in France and Sweden.

The 34-year-old kicked off the European jaunt on 9 May with four dates at La Défense Arena in Paris, France, which drew a total of 180,000 fans.

This turnout set a new record for the arena, which had increased its capacity from 40,000 to 45,000 per show.

The AEG Presents-promoted outing continued to Sweden, where the superstar rewrote the history books at Friends Arena in Stockholm.

On 17 May, the star set a new record for the highest number of tickets sold for an event at the arena, which was trumped the following night and the one after, resulting in a new attendance record for a single concert at Friends Arena with 60,243 people.

The 34-year-old kicked off the European jaunt on 9 May with four dates at La Défense Arena in Paris

Across the three Stockholm dates, which were promoted by MTG, AEG Presents and All Things Live Sweden, Swift drew 178,679 people and smashed the previous audience record for a single artist.

The record sees Swift unseat Bruce Springsteen who attracted 167,160 people to his three concerts at the arena in 2013.

Swift’s record-breaking streak in European venues is expected to continue, with AEG being granted permission to extend capacities on various venues.

Edinburgh’s Murrayfield has already announced that the Eras Tour concerts will be Scotland’s biggest-selling stadium shows after the city’s council agreed to increase Murrayfield’s capacity by 8.73% from 67,130 to 72,990.

The concerts will see Swift unseat previous record holder Harry Styles, who performed to more than 65,000 fans at the same venue in 2023. Prior to that, Styles’ band One Direction held the title for selling 64,000 tickets there in 2014.

The Eras Tour, the highest-grossing tour of all time, is set to continue tonight (24 May) at Estádio Da Luz in Portugal.

 


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Eventim warning after hackers target Eras tickets

Eventim has temporarily postponed the resale for the German dates of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour after hackers attempted to steal digital tickets for the concerts.

Swift will visit Germany this summer for sold-out concerts at Gelsenkirchen’s Veltins-Arena (17-19 July), Volksparkstadion in Hamburg (23-24 July) and Munich’s Olympic Stadium (27-28 July). Her European tour launches in France tomorrow (9 May) with the first of four shows at Paris La Défense Arena.

According to Heise, cyber criminals are believed to have gained access to user accounts by trying out usernames and passwords from data dumps on the darknet, known as “credential stuffing”, before offering the tickets for resale on Eventim’s FanSale platform.

Eventim, which contacted the police over the matter, says the number of unauthorised resales was in “the low double-digit range”, while the transactions identified as fraudulent have since reversed, and the buyers refunded.

“By using Eventim.Pass with exclusively digital tickets, on the one hand, the identified, abusive transactions were reversed,” a company spokesperson tells Watson. “On the other hand, the funds of the buyers of the stolen tickets were secured from being forwarded so that they can be refunded.”

Eventim says it has reset the “passwords of accounts that we classify as potentially at risk”

It has reset the “passwords of accounts that we classify as potentially at risk”, and is encouraging other users to follow suit.

“As email and password data was used that has very likely been in circulation for some time, we recommend that users first change their email password and then the password for their customer account,” advises the firm.

Elsewhere in Europe, it was reported last month that UK Swifties are estimated to have lost over £1 million (€1.2m) in a wave of online scams since tickets went on sale for the European leg of The Eras Tour last July, according to data from Lloyds Bank.

Meanwhile, a so-called Taylor Swift bill has been signed into law in Minnesota, US, to offer online ticket buyers more transparency and protection. AP reports the law, which will apply for concerts or other live events held in the state, will require sellers to disclose all fees upfront and ban resellers from selling more than one copy of a ticket, among other measures.

 


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Swiss promoter hails Eras Tour’s ‘economic factor’

Swiss live music pioneer André Béchir has praised the economic impact of Taylor Swift’s forthcoming Zurich concerts, revealing that thousands of fans are travelling from outside Switzerland to attend the shows.

Swift will perform at the city’s Letzigrund Stadium on 9-10 July, promoted by AEG Presents, TAKK, Gadget abc Entertainment Group and Taylor Swift Touring, as part of the European leg of The Eras Tour.

“With an entourage of around 200 people, Taylor Swift is on the road with the largest tour group in the world,” Béchir tells Blick. “Around 100,000 fans will come to her two concerts. Well over 10,000 are traveling from abroad, as we can see from the ticket sales.”

Béchir leads CTS Eventim-backed TAKK ab Entertainment AG, which was established last year, alongside TAKK Productions founder Sebastien Vuignier and IQ New Bosses alumnus Théo Quiblier. Béchir’s abc Production was amalgamated with Gadget and Wepromote by CTS shortly before the pandemic hit.

“Taylor Swift’s importance for Zurich is totally underestimated,” adds Béchir. “After we announced it, hotel room prices were on average a hundred francs more expensive the next day.

“We are assuming that the fans will arrive early, which will be an unprecedented challenge for traffic and the corresponding security measures. The authorities involved and the stadium have been informed accordingly. It still doesn’t seem to be clear in the minds of those responsible here that Taylor Swift is not just a concert, but an economic factor.”

“Concerts of this magnitude are of great importance for local businesses and suppliers, the hotel industry and the catering industry”

“Concerts of this magnitude are of great importance for local businesses and suppliers, the hotel industry and the catering industry,” says the City of Zurich’s communications department. “Since the ‘Swifties’ are considered particularly committed, just a single photo of the superstar from Switzerland on social media can have a huge advertising effect.”

Swift’s 17-19 May concerts at Sweden’s Friends Arena (cap. 50,000) are also expected to be a “real hit” for Stockholm’s economy. According to calculations by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and Friends Arena, Swifties attending the concerts are expected to spend half a billion kroner (€43.6m).

According to the SCC, almost half of the 150,000 fans attending Swift’s Stockholm concerts will come from abroad, with people from 132 countries, including USA, Finland and Australia, set to flock to the shows in the Swedish capital.

Meanwhile, the opening leg of The Eras Tour, which ran to 50+ dates from March to August 2023, reputedly contributed $5.7 billion to the US economy. The Washington Post reported that her SoFi Stadium residency in Inglewood, California, brought an estimated $320 million alone to the Los Angeles economy.

Swift and other A-list stars have also been credited with helping to rejuvenate tourism in Singapore after the country secured a much-debated exclusivity deal with the star.

 


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Northern Ireland police warn of ticket scams

Police in Northern Ireland are warning music fans not to fall for scams when trying to get hold of tickets for concerts, after figures show that fraudsters last year conned people out of close to £300,000 in the province.

Data from Action Fraud shows nationally in the UK £6.7 million was lost to this type of crime in the past year, although the figure only includes reported crime, and it’s believed many fans do not report losses to the authorities. In Northern Ireland, the total reported losses came in at £291,344.36 with 299 reports made.

Chair of ScamwiseNI Partnership, chief superintendent Gerard Pollock notes that not only does this fraud leave people out of pocket financially, but will also leave them left outside at the doors of concert venues. “We’ve had reports of people buying tickets through social media platforms, thinking they’re getting the real deal only to find out the money they’ve shelled out is to someone who isn’t genuine, and the tickets they’ve paid hundreds of pounds for never existed in the first place,” says Pollock.

“With some big names on tour this summer, demand is always high for those concerts which have in reality been sold out months in advance. Avid fans are being exploited, often by organised criminals, in the hope of seeing their heroes live.”

“Too often, we see reports of tickets that don’t materialise at all, or are just screenshots of genuine tickets that won’t get you any farther than the ticket barrier”

In its campaign to protect fans from falling victim to the scammers, Police Service Northern Ireland state that ticket fraud often involves the use of images and graphics taken from genuine sellers to make fake websites look like the real deal. Advertisements or offers may appear genuine, but there will be subtle differences buyers should look closely at, such as the website address.

A recent example includes a report of a person who thought they’d bought Taylor Swift tickets for £400 via an online ‘Buy and Sell’ page. The person was then asked to pay a further sum of money for a change of name, which they did. Once all the money was transferred, the buyer was blocked by the seller. The tickets never arrived, and the person was swindled out of their money. Another instance saw someone losing £600 over fake Taylor Swift tickets.

With summer gigs and events fast approaching, CS Pollock says people should only buy tickets from legitimate, authorised ticket sellers and resellers as criminals will exploit the eagerness by fans to get their hands on tickets for a show or gig they really want to go to.

“I would also urge parents buying tickets for children and young adults going to a concert, and those who make a last-minute decision to go to a concert, to be really cautious when buying your ticket,” says Pollock. “Too often, we see reports of tickets that don’t materialise at all, or are just screenshots of genuine tickets that won’t get you any farther than the ticket barrier.

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”

“The safest way to ensure tickets bought are genuine is to purchase them from the authorised ticket seller or authorised re-seller. We’d also advise against buying tickets from other sources, such as third parties because you can never be sure of the validity and authenticity of the tickets. When purchasing a ticket from a reseller you should also check the re-sale or transfer policy for that concert, often there are strict policies regarding how tickets can be sold or transferred, breaching these can mean your ticket is invalid.”

The Police Service is urging people to follow its ‘Stop. Check. Report.’ advice to recognise signs of ticket fraud before getting caught. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” warns Pollock.

STOP – Whilst it’s always tempting to rush in and buy those hot tickets, don’t rush into buying a ticket. Do not transfer money by bank transfer and only pay by a protect payment method.

CHECK – Check the website or re-seller you are buying from before you buy. Check the event’s ticket re-sale policy to make sure tickets re-sold remain valid, or if there is a designated resale agent, or specific policies for that event or venue. Check the venue / event’s own website. If you have bought a ticket and you are concerned about the validity of it check with the event on its validity.

REPORT – If you lose money in a ticket fraud, don’t just shake it off, report it to police at www.psni.police.uk/report or to your bank. You can also report to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling police.

 


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UK Swifties ‘lose £1m’ to Eras Tour ticket scams

UK Taylor Swift fans are estimated to have lost over £1 million (€1.2m) in a wave of online scams since tickets went on sale for the European leg of The Eras Tour last July, according to fresh data.

Analysis by Lloyds Bank of scam reports made by its own customers found a surge in fraud cases from those buying tickets for Swift’s upcoming UK stadium dates.

More than 600 customers have come forward to report being scammed – significantly more than for any other music artist. The average amount lost by each victim was £332, although in some cases it was more than £1,000.

As the figures are based solely on Lloyds’ own customer data, it estimates that across the UK there are likely to have been at least 3,000 victims since tickets went on sale, with over £1m being lost to fraudsters so far.

“For her legion of dedicated Swifties, the excitement is building ahead of Taylor’s Eras Tour finally touching down in the UK this summer,” says Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank. “However, cruel fraudsters have wasted no time in targeting her most loyal fans as they rush to pick up tickets for her must-see concerts.”

“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a genuine ticket”

The record-shattering Eras Tour lands in the UK and Ireland in June with special guests Paramore for stops at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium (7-9 June), Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium (13-15 June), Principality Stadium in Cardiff (18 June), London’s Wembley Stadium (21-23 June & 15-20 August) and Aviva Stadium, Dublin (23-30 June).

Lloyds says that more than 90% of reported cases start with fake adverts or posts on Facebook, where dozens of unofficial groups have been set up specifically for people looking to buy and sell tickets for Swift’s concerts. Likewise, Facebook Marketplace has various listings for tickets at venues all over the country.

“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let those feelings cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets,” adds Ziegler.

“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a genuine ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection. If you’re being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you’ve found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.”

UK Swifties are not alone in being targeted by con artists around the tour. Australian Taylor Swift fans reportedly lost in excess of A$260,000 (€157,000) in a fake ticket scam for the singer’s February concerts in the country, while Inside Retail reports that Singapore-based recommerce platform Carousell suspended the sale of tickets in all of its six markets to prevent scams ahead of Swift’s Singapore dates in March.

 


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Taylor Swift set to break Scotland’s stadium record

Taylor Swift is set to break the record for Scotland’s biggest-selling stadium show when she performs at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield on 7, 8, and 9 June.

On Monday (25 March), Edinburgh Council granted promoter AEG Presents permission to increase Murrayfield’s capacity by 8.73% from 67,130 to 72,990.

The concerts will see Swift unseat previous record holder Harry Styles, who performed to more than 65,000 fans at the same venue in 2023.

Prior to that, Styles’ band One Direction held the title for selling 64,000 tickets there in 2014.

Swift’s Scotland shows will be part of her highly successful Eras Tour, which has grossed more than $1bn (€927m) since beginning on 17 March last year.

“My dad is super proud of our Scottish heritage”

Swift last year described Scotland as “a really special place”. “Last time I was there the crowd were amazing and I felt like we really connected. My dad is super proud of our Scottish heritage – he told me that pretty much most of our family can be traced back to Scotland so of course it’s obviously very cool for me to get to perform there as part of the tour.”

Like many cities featured on the Eras Tour, Edinburgh has noted a boost in the local economy with more than 20 around the city centre sold out over the three dates.

Recently, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce calculated that Swifties attending three concerts at Friends Arena are expected to spend half a billion kroner (€43.6m).

The Eras Tour will resume in May with the European leg, which kicks off at LA Défense Arena in Paris. In the meantime, Swift’s next album, The Tortured Poets Department, is due out on 19 April.

 


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Swifties expected to spend half a billion in Stockholm

Taylor Swift’s upcoming concerts in Stockholm are expected to be a “real hit” for the city’s economy, according to a new report.

The superstar is due to play three Eras Tour concerts between 17–19 May at Friends Arena (cap. 50,000), marking her only stop in the Nordic countries.

According to calculations by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and Friends Arena, Swifties attending the concerts are expected to spend half a billion kroner (€43.6m).

“When the Friends arena is filled with visitors, it also means significant revenue for hotels, restaurants and shops. Taylor Swift’s visit is therefore a real hit for Stockholm’s economy,” says Carl Bergkvist, chief economist at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), in a press release.

“We have calculated what the visitors can spend on accommodation, food, SL [public transport] tickets and additional tourism, perhaps a guided tour of the old town. The concert tickets and trips to Stockholm are not included.”

“Taylor Swift’s visit is a real hit for Stockholm’s economy”

Of the 150,000 fans attending Swift’s Stockholm concerts, almost half will come from abroad, according to the SCC.

Fans from 132 countries, including USA, Finland and Australia, will attend the shows in Sweden’s capital city.

Swift and other A-list stars have also been credited with helping to rejuvenate tourism in Singapore after the country secured a much-debated exclusivity deal with the star.

At the end of last year, Swift’s planet-conquering Eras Tour officially became the first tour in history to surpass $1 billion in revenue.

Weeks later it was announced that the Eras Tour concert film also made history, becoming the highest-grossing concert/documentary film in box office history with more than US$261.6 million earned globally.

The blockbuster tour will resume in May with the European leg, which kicks off at LA Défense Arena in Paris.

In the meantime, Swift’s next album, The Tortured Poets Department, is due out on 19 April.

 


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Thailand reveals plan to attract A-list artists

The Thailand government has revealed ambitions to become a ‘strong hub’ for international concerts and festivals.

Prime minister Srettha Thavisin said he wants to follow suit with Singapore’s reported exclusivity deal with Taylor Swift to make the island nation her only Eras tour stop in Southeast Asia.

The government plans to meet top record companies and promoters, such as Tero Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, to investigate how the country can better facilitate such events for artists, crews and concertgoers.

Tourism and sports minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said investment in infrastructure might be necessary if the private sector agreed that it was essential for hosting events, such as a large-scale indoor concert hall, which Thailand still lacks.

“Before investing a fortune, we must understand the whole structure of the current market and clear existing obstacles to make our investment worthwhile,” she said. “Economic benefits are quite high, as we saw from the period during international concerts in Thailand this year. Daily arrivals shot up to 140,000 per day, from an average of 100,000 per day.”

“Before investing a fortune, we must understand the whole structure of the current market”

One concern about Thailand’s ability to host overseas concertgoers – who reportedly spend three times more than general tourists – is the public transport system, which does not extend to every neighbourhood in the city and results in taxi companies overcharging customers.

“All major venues have been facing such prolonged problems of overcharging,” said Chakkarin Aungpratip from BITEC Management, the operator of Bitec Hall.

Aungpratip believes that, aside from some infrastructure issues, Thailand stands among the top destinations for international tourists due to tourism attractions, Thai food, a wide range of accommodation and friendly LGBT+ laws.

Thailand isn’t the only Southeast Asian country that has reacted to Singapore’s deal with Taylor Swift. A lawmaker in the Philippines has criticised the island nation for the arrangement, urging the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to formally protest against the grant.

However, the rep acknowledged that the “policy worked” for Singapore but said the Philippines needed to improve its infrastructure to be able to host global superstars.

“In the long run, though, we need to step up our game,” he added.

 


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Philippine rep criticises Singapore-Swift deal

A lawmaker in the Philippines has criticised Singapore for its reported exclusivity deal with Taylor Swift to make the island nation her only Eras tour stop in south-east Asia.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) authorised a grant for Swift to perform at the 55,000-cap Singapore National Stadium next month, allegedly on the condition she would not play any other countries in the region.

The Straits Times reports that representative Joey Salceda has asked the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to formally protest against the grant.

“[This] isn’t what good neighbours do,” said Salceda. “Our countries are good friends. That’s why actions like that hurt.”

It follows a claim from Thai PM Srettha Thavisin, who alleged the Singapore government offered $2 million to $3m (€1.4m to €2.1m) per show for exclusive rights, after enquiring why the tour would not be stopping in Thailand.

“[Promoter AEG] didn’t tell me the exact figure but they said the Singapore government offers subsidies of between $2m and $3m,” said Srettha. “But the Singaporean government is clever. They told [organisers] not to hold any other shows in [south-east] Asia.”

“It is likely to generate significant benefits to the Singapore economy, especially to tourism activities such as hospitality, retail, travel and dining”

In a joint statement, the culture ministry and the STB admitted working directly with concert organisers, but declined to confirm either the amount of the grant or the existence of an exclusivity deal.

“It is likely to generate significant benefits to the Singapore economy, especially to tourism activities such as hospitality, retail, travel and dining, as has happened in other cities in which Taylor Swift has performed,” they said.

Singaporean hotels and airlines tell CNA that demand for flights and accommodation around the dates of Swift’s concerts has increased up to 30%.

While Salceda acknowledged the “policy worked” for Singapore, he said the Philippines needed to improve its infrastructure to be able to host global superstars.

“In the long run, though, we need to step up our game,” he added.

Swift is set to play six nights in Singapore from 2-4 & 7-9 March as part of the Eras trek, which also included four nights in Asia at Japan’s Tokyo Dome from 7-10 February.

 


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Singapore ‘sought exclusivity’ over Swift gigs

Thailand’s prime minister has caused a stir after claiming Singapore sought an exclusivity deal with Taylor Swift to prevent the singer from performing any other Eras tour dates in south-east Asia.

The Eras Tour lands at the 55,000-cap Singapore National Stadium for six nights from 2-4 & 7-9 March – its only concerts in the region.

During his keynote address at the iBusiness Forum 2024 in Bangkok, Thai PM Srettha Thavisin alleged he was told the Singapore government offered $2 million to $3m (€1.4m to €2.1m) per show as part of the arrangement, after enquiring why the tour would not be stopping in Thailand.

“[Promoter AEG] didn’t tell me the exact figure but they said the Singapore government offers subsidies of between $2m and $3m,” said Srettha, as per the Guardian. “But the Singaporean government is clever. They told [organisers] not to hold any other shows in [south-east] Asia.”

“Concerts can generate added value for the economy”

AEG and the Singapore government are yet to comment on Thavisin’s claim.

According to Sky News, the PM continued: “If [Swift] came to Thailand, it would have been cheaper to organise it here, and I believe she would be able to attract more sponsors and tourists to Thailand. Even though we would have to subsidise at least 500m baht [€13m], it would be worth it.

“If I had known this, I would have brought the shows to Thailand. Concerts can generate added value for the economy.”

The Eras trek, which also included four nights in Asia at Japan’s Tokyo Dome from 7-10 February, is currently in Australia, where Swift performed to 288,000 fans across three shows at Melbourne Cricket Ground this past weekend. It moves on to Sydney’s Accor Stadium for four gigs from 23-26 February.

 


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