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Taylor Swift tour to boost the economy and physical activity?

Taylor Swift tour to boost the economy and physical activity?
June 24, 2023

This week's announcement that US singing superstar Taylor Swift will play five concert dates in Melbourne and Sydney in February next year has gone beyond prompting fans wanting to get in line to secure tickets - while prompting ticketing companies to get their websites prepared for a deluge of demand when sales begin.

In a big week for sport and entertainment that saw Australia win in the first Ashes Test and Queensland secure the State of Origin series, the announcement that Swift’s The Eras Tour will be in Australia has been predicted to give the economy a boost.

Currently touring in the USA, Swift’s tour is expected to have a US$5 billion economic impact - and a proportionally similar impact is expected in Australia.

Inputs to this will include not only spending on tickets but merchandise and, for those travelling to Sydney and Melbourne from the rest of Australia as well as New Zealand, spending on flights and accommodation.

Describing the effect in North America, Brett House, Professor of Professional Practice in Economics at Columbia Business School in New York, explained "Taylor Swift is a real representative, along with The Eras Tour, of the huge consumer spending power that still exists out there.

"(And) this isn't just about Taylor Swift. This is about the importance of place and being together after a period when we couldn't do so.

"People want to be together, it's meaningful to hear music and be in one place for that experience … and people are willing to invest in it."

Similarly, Beyonce’s recent performances in Scandinavia are seen as having raised Sweden's inflation rate, her two concerts in Stockholm driving a rise in demand for hotels and restaurants - the single largest influence on the overall increase in the nation’s rate.

Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth miss out
In cities that missed out on Eras Tour dates, politicians and stakeholders lamented missing on not attracting the artist.

In Perth, Patrick Gorman, Federal Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, suggested the city might have missed out on attracting the tour dates as a result of being set to host Coldplay’s only Australian dates.

Referencing popular songs from the artist in a Tweet he wrote “it is a Cruel Summer that has Sweet Nothing for Perth in the Taylor Swift 2024 international tour. We have a Taylor made venue at Optus Stadium. WA is Ready For It. No Bad Blood, I am confident the Swifties of WA will use all their powers to Change this.”

South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Tom Koutsantonis told 10 News that his daughter was particularly upset by Swift not playing in Adelaide, commenting “so my daughter woke up this morning and I told her, ‘Sweetheart, Taylor Swift’s coming to Australia.’ She screamed and she said, ‘Entertainment Centre or Adelaide Oval?’ And I said, ‘No, MCG.’ And I gotta say, I’m really disappointed.

“So for those South Australians who are Taylor Swift fans, get onto her Facebook page and get onto her Twitter site, and let her know that Daddy wants his little girl to see Taylor Swift and he’s not taking her to Melbourne.”

On Facebook, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles quoted eight Swift tracks in saying “Brisbane’s been left with Sweet Nothing, she Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve come to Queensland. It Hits Different that we’ve missed out, especially with the news breaking on Maroon day. I’m seeing Red, I’d be Mr Perfectly Fine if Taylor booked shows here.”

He then went on to highlight the value of Brisbane building larger venues, adding “Long Story Short, a new arena at Roma Street and a bigger, better Gabba will Mean we can attract more of the biggest artists like Taylor Swift. That would leave Queenslanders as the Lucky Ones.”

As to why Swift did not include Brisbane dates in her schedule, ASM Global Asia Pacific Chairman and Managing Director Harvey Lister  told ABC Radio Brisbane, that Swift had been "definitely holding dates" at the city’s Suncorp Stadium, "but as the dates around the world fell into place, Australia got sandwiched a bit".

Lister noted “she comes through Japan, plays Australia, goes out through Singapore and then straight back to Europe.”

Lister said given Swift was devoting a week to each city on the tour and because Australia only had two weeks' worth of dates, only two cities would fit the schedule, adding “there just wasn't time to keep leapfrogging from city to city.”

Taylor Swift boosts physical activity
A newly released study of physical activity among concertgoers has found that fans at her concerts will generate 15,000 steps while dancing, with approximately three hours of time spent performing (not counting any interludes or set changes) and an average BPM of 122 across the 40-plus songs on her setlist

The study, conducted by PureGym, analysed the cumulative song length of each set against the overall average BPM (beats per minute) of each song played, to identify how 'high energy' each performance is.

According to PureGym's Chris Collett, Swift tops the list, followed by Bad Bunny, The Cure, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce.

In 2019 Swift cancelled a performance at the Melbourne Cup following criticism from animal rights groups.

Click here to view details of PureGym's study.

Images: Taylor Swift on stage (top) and during past Australian performances at Accor Stadium (middle) and Marvel Stadium (below).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder and Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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