As I approach the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, I meet a 21-year-old Swiftie who has been camping outside in a tent for five months. The sound of mixing trucks reverberates through the tent’s thin fabric as a group of ants scurries around the nearby sidewalk, hoping to catch a snack. This devoted fan would rather remain anonymous, as her father is unaware of her decision to spend her afternoons at the makeshift encampment with other Taylor Swift enthusiasts. In addition to attending college classes and working part-time, she has dedicated her time and energy to supporting her favorite artist. To avoid raising suspicion, she tells her father that she’s drinking mate at the park or visiting a friend who lives near the stadium.
Swift is not the only one who has been showing great commitment towards the upcoming Buenos Aires shows, which are a part of her Eras Tour’s Latin American leg starting on November 9. Several fans have been camping outside the stadium in four tents, taking turns in an organized manner. The majority of them have general admission floor tickets and are hoping to secure the best spot possible near the stage as soon as the show starts.
Two organizers and assigned administrators maintain an internal spreadsheet to monitor approximately 60 individuals per tent. The majority of the occupants are young females, with an age limit of 18 years and above. A ranking system is utilized to determine the order of preference based on the total time spent in the tent. Those who have been occupying the tent for a longer period have a higher probability of being prioritized. A fan named Carmen shares that she has spent over 300 hours, equivalent to 12 and a half days, inside the tents.
The Eras Tour has not only contributed to the growth of economies but has also led to some hardcore Swifties taking extreme measures. These fans have taken legal action against Ticketmaster and Live Nation, accusing them of unethical business practices. In addition, some fans have gathered in the parking lots of American stadiums during shows to feel connected to the experience, even without a ticket. Others who were unable to purchase tickets have waited outside the venues for extended periods just to buy some merchandise.
Swifties in Argentina have taken their dedication to Taylor Swift to the next level. They have endured public criticism and rowdy soccer fans while camping out in tents on concrete to secure their spot before tickets went on sale. Despite being featured in local TV news stories, they have stopped doing interviews and implemented a no-recording policy for media and content creators seeking to film them. This shows their genuine commitment to the artist.
According to camping enthusiasts, it is generally accepted that one should only camp when free from other obligations, and no one is expected to neglect their responsibilities. Irina, a 20-year-old camper, explains that the group’s size allows for flexibility in scheduling, stating that each individual can fit their camping time around their personal commitments. Irina also notes that her mother is supportive of her camping as long as it does not interfere with her academic performance. Although there is no expectation for individuals to spend all day in their tents, those who go above and beyond are appreciated within the group’s community guidelines.