Could all this protesting from Brisbane Swifties actually change the course of her tour, though?
Hell hath no fury like Taylor Swift fans denied a visit on her upcoming Australian tour: even official government members – including, we shit you not, the Prime Minister of Australia – has weighed in on the push to have Swift add a Brisbane (Meanjin) show to the itinerary.
ICYMI, last week saw Swift announce five shows on the Eras tour for local Swifties, hitting Melbourne (Naarm) and Sydney (Eora) next February – she’ll play two dates at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and three at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.
Steven Miles (QLD’s deputy premier) was among the first to hit out at Swift for snubbing Brisbane, quoting an impressive eight Swift tracks in a social media post that read: “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.
“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.”
Andrew Wallace – a federal member for the city of Fisher – has since started a petition to have Swift add at least one Brisbane show to her tour. He wrote in his plea to the Frontier Touring: “I’m the dad of four daughters, and I’m an unashamed Swiftie. And I’m a proud Queenslander who knows that thousands of fans are disappointed to see Queensland left off the Eras Tour map. I’m calling on Frontier Touring to extend Taylor’s tour to Queensland – and particularly to the Sunshine Coast, the heart of Queensland’s Swiftie population.”
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Earlier this week, news.com.au reported that even PM Anthony Albanese is keen to see Swift perform on the Eras tour. He apparently told a radio station in the Gold Coast, “The Tay-Tay fever is here. It will be here for many months leading up to the gig so I'm just hoping I can get a ticket. I haven’t got one yet. I’m hoping to get an invite somewhere. We’ll wait and see how it goes.”
At one point in time, Brisbane shows were indeed planned for the Eras tour. Harvey Lister (chairman of ASM Global Asia Pacific, the company that owns Suncorp Stadium in the city) recently said in an interview on ABC Radio that Swift’s team was “definitely holding dates” at Suncorp, but had to cut them from the itinerary after “Australia got sandwiched” when “dates around the world fell into place”.
He added: “The date period for Australia, which initially was going to be longer, when the tour was also coming to Brisbane, it got sandwiched between other dates in other countries, and effectively Australia was between Japan and Singapore. We’re normally just holding some dates around that and pencilling them out just in case there’s a chance to roll into an additional one.
“There’s no doubt there’s an enormous, enormous interest from Swifties right across the country and it’s just unfortunate. Brisbane doesn’t miss out on stuff like this very often at all – this is just one of those occasions.”
Lister noted that “there just wasn’t time [for Swift] to keep leapfrogging from city to city”, so her bookers instead oped to have her “play in Sydney and Melbourne where the stadiums can take about 100,000 [attendees]”. He further explained: “She comes through Japan, plays Australia, goes out through Singapore and then straight back to Europe.”
Lister stressed, however, that Suncorp Stadium’s size did not factor into the decision being made to cut Brisbane from the Eras tour – the venue can hold up to 60,000 punters, about 40,000 less than the Melbourne Cricket Ground (where Swift is playing twice).
Notably, Swift’s first-ever Australian performance took place in Brisbane, when she performed at The Tivoli on March 5, 2009.
Earlier this week, we got a glimmer of hope that Swift might announce further shows Down Under: she’s just added three new dates in Singapore, sparking wishes that she might do the same for her fans in Australia.
For more info on the Australian leg of the Eras tour, head here. You can also see here for both the general ticket sale (starting this coming Friday, July 30) and ongoing Frontier presale. It should be noted, though, that unique anti-scalping measures have been put in place to prevent unauthorised ticket resales.
The local leg of Swift’s Eras tour will mark her first time Down Under since 2018, when she hit four cities – Perth and Brisbane alongside Melbourne and Sydney – in support of her Reputation album. She’s since released four original studio albums (Lover in 2019, Folklore and Evermore in 2020, and Midnights in 2022) and two Taylor’s Version remakes of previous efforts (Fearless and Red, both in 2021).
A third Taylor’s Version remake album – a new take on her 2010 LP Speak Now – will be released on July 7 via Republic, as revealed at one of the Nashville dates of the Eras tour. Earlier this month, Swift shared the album’s full tracklist, sporting guest spots from Fall Out Boy and Paramore’s Hayley Williams. That news came shortly after Swift was named the second richest woman in music, with a net worth of $740 million.
Also this month, the Eras tour was hyped up by none other than Gwen Stacy (RIP) herself, Emma Stone. In a chat with Vanity Fair, the Hollywood heavyweight raved about her time at the opening date of Swift’s tour in Arizona: “The concert was pretty amazing,” she said. “I was lucky ’cause we’ve been friends for a really long time. I’ve known her since we were 17 and 18, so she hooked me up, which was very nice ’cause I know those tickets are impossible to get.
“She’s a wonderful friend. She blows my mind. I mean, the amount of sheer stamina to do three and a half hours and perform 44 songs and to maintain the extreme energy of the audience – I’ve never seen anything like it.”