• Taylor Swift fans have named gathering outside of The Eras Tour venues to sing and dance "Taylor-gating."
  • I tried it when I found myself in Edinburgh, where the UK leg of the tour kicked off.
  • It was a surprisingly immersive experience. You could hear every song clearly through the speakers.

If you've never heard of "Taylor-gating," let me introduce the concept to you.

It's a trend that emerged quickly after Taylor Swift began touring with her blockbuster The Eras Tour last spring. Fans who missed out on tickets congregate in streets and parking lots near the concert venues.

They sing along and dance to their favorite song blasting from the stadium speakers — enjoying the concert without paying for a ticket.

There are many reasons why people "Taylor-gate." Some might have missed out on getting tickets because of the technical difficulties they experienced on sites like Ticketmaster or because the ticket prices were too high.

In my case, it was because I happened to find myself in the same city as The Eras Tour and had a free evening.

Even though I have tickets for one of the "Fortnight" singer's upcoming shows at Wembley Stadium in London, I traveled to Edinburgh the night Swift kicked off the UK leg of The Eras Tour.

It was mainly to report Swift's profound economic impact on the UK, as the 15-show tour is expected to boost the UK economy by £997 million ($1.26 billion).

However, when I wrapped up for the day, having spoken to local business owners in the city and countless fans outside the stadium, I decided to stick around out of curiosity.

'This is the best concert I've ever been to — and I'm not even inside'

"Taylor-gating" has been popularized thanks to Tiktok, where fans have shared their experiences of enjoying the concert from outside the stadiums over the last year.

One video showing hordes of fans passionately singing along to Swift's hit " 22" outside the gates of Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field last year has accrued nearly seven million views. At a Sydney concert, Australian fans were also inspired, showing up in their hundreds to dance and sing outside the concert venue.

It's clear that fans in the UK also got the memo.

"This is the best concert I've ever been to — and I'm not even inside!" I heard one girl exclaim to her parents as she returned to sit beside them after dancing in a circle with other middle school-aged kids.

Meanwhile, others who had tickets for subsequent nights of the show also chose to spend their night experiencing the concert from the outside.

Amanda, 40, who had traveled from the US with her daughter Maddie, 20, were due to attend the second UK concert the following day. She told said that she was just as surprised as anyone to find herself there when she could be exploring Edinburgh or enjoying a nice dinner.

"I wouldn't do this for just any artist," Amanda said.

Despite being outside, I felt like I was part of the concert

I was only going to stay for a little while, having noticed that as the time approached Swift's call time, hundreds of people were setting down picnic blankets on the large field behind the stadium.

But as soon as the opening notes of the iconic medley that starts the almost three-and-a-half-hour set began, I got swept up in the excitement and ended up staying for nearly the entire show.

Swift and her band could be heard loud and clear from the steps opposite the stadium where I decided to set up camp for the evening. Even her interludes to the audience came out crisply over the stadium speakers, making me feel like I was a part of the crowd she was addressing.

There was one downside

As she swept through her many musical eras, beginning with her superstar-cementing "Lover" album, followed by the up-tempo "Fearless," "Red," "Speak Now," and "Reputation" acts, those around me took to their feet, dancing and singing along.

It was a shame that Swift's segue into the more subdued combined "Folklore" and "Evermore" set coincided with a sharp drop in temperature and strong winds that brought down the energy outside. With no stadium lights keeping us warm, I noticed that many people had chosen this point to pack up and leave.

But if "Taylor-gating" is your only opportunity to experience The Eras Tour — which Swift has confirmed will not extend past its final date in December — I would recommend it. Just remember to bring layers.

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2024-06-15T10:11:10Z dg43tfdfdgfd