Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has been an outstanding success, both in terms of revenue and cultural impact. It has amassed a total of $780 million, quickly becoming the highest-grossing tour by a woman in history. The tour also had a significant economic impact on the local economies of the cities visited, becoming a cultural phenomenon that surpasses the outreach that anybody’s music has had in the past decades. This is due to fans not just attending the shows, but instead making full events out of it, with the smaller trends contributing to local businesses and generating a substantial influx of money into these communities.
The Eras Tour has been characterized as the trickle-down effect, in which elevated commercial activity boosts smaller local businesses. The increased spending by fans goes towards local hotels and transportation as well as clothing sales for Eras Tour outfits. Chicago set a record for the number of occupied hotel rooms in June, with 97% of them being filled. Fortune estimated the tour’s net consumer spending to be $4.6 billion in the US, showing that the effects of the Eras Tour ripple out further than the shows themselves.
The reasons behind the Eras Tour’s unmatched success are many. The tour is single-handedly bringing back concert culture from before the pandemic, elevating the old practices to make up for the shows that were lost during it. This is an example of an experience economy, where the show is being advertised as an entire experience in itself that people want to attend to relive the events that they missed out on. Mass social events that allow people to go out and bring themselves together are much more successful post-pandemic as they give people the chance to bond and interact. The shows’ advertising adds to this, with the culture of “friendship bracelets” being traded correlating to fans connecting in person and having memorabilia of these events.
The depth and popularity of the Eras Tour catalog adds to the impact her shows had. Unlike previous Taylor Swift tours, this allowed fans from all of her past phases to have reason to buy tickets. Her last tour, the Reputation Stadium Tour, had a gross of half the Eras Tour. The opportunity to hear music from all stages of Taylor Swift’s discography widened the audience from her average dedicated fanbase to millions more.
Not only has the Eras Tour made an economic impact, but Taylor Swift’s new Eras Tour film has also broken many records for reasons similar to the tour itself. Unlike other concert films, this was marketed as an experience, with Swift saying, “Eras attire, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing encouraged”. This gave fans who missed out on attending the tour the opportunity to have a similar experience and allowed those who went to the tour to re-live it. The pre-sales of the movie alone broke records, with it currently having $203 million at the box office. The film garnered worldwide attention, matching records set by non-concert films and breaking the mold of what a traditional concert film should be treated as.