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What It Was Like Seeing Taylor Swift From The Worst Seats In The House & Was It Worth It?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

Last November, I, like millions of other people, sat in anxious anticipation while attempting to acquire tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. I do not think anyone could have anticipated the chaos and drama that would ensue as Ticketmaster, the largest ticketing service in the world, was utterly overwhelmed with the demand for tickets. I was logged in and in the queue to purchase tickets for myself, my best friend, and my little sister two hours before the sale began. Not only was I exceptionally early to log in, but I was also a verified fan, a safeguard implemented by Ticketmaster to ensure real people and not bots were purchasing tickets. Things quickly went downhill, and after numerous delays and error messages as I attempted to buy my tickets, and an all-around horrible experience that Swift herself described as a “bear attack”, I finally acquired my tickets at 3:55 p.m., almost four hours later. 

Many, many people have written and reported on the fiasco that was buying tickets for the Eras Tour, so much so that Congress launched an investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, the company that owns TicketMaster, and the monopolization of the ticketing industry. All of this aside, Swifties who were fortunate enough to get tickets were not curbed in their excitement for the show. However, for my group and I, our excitement was tainted with slight disappointment. Yes, we got tickets, but they were not great. Our seats were in the very top balcony of Sofi stadium, behind the stage on a diagonal angle, and only five rows from the top. Each ticket was only $45 and labeled as “obstructed view”.  We were scared. What if everything I went through was for nothing? Would we be able to see anything, let alone Taylor Swift herself? Just how obstructed was our view? All of these things made the lead-up to the concert very nerve-racking and I often thought, “Are there other attendees in this situation?” We have all seen the stories of fans’ immense struggle to get tickets, but what happens when you get them and they are less than ideal? Would the concert be enjoyable at all?

The conclusion: yes, yes it was. Taylor Swift constructed a concert so captivating, entertaining, and of the highest quality that even from seats slightly behind the stage and obstructed by a massive concrete pillar it was worth it. 

It makes sense that the Eras Tour has garnered at least $2.2 billion and still counting with the tour set to continue well into 2024. It is estimated that Swift spent at least $100 million on creating the Eras Tour. During the show, Swift as well as her band, backup singers, and dancers performed on a stage that consisted of three different pieces. With the help of a large curved screen at the back, superb lighting and props transformed the stage into the different eras of Swift’s career. Due to the sheer size of the stage, even fans like myself had an excellent view of Taylor even if we could not see the screen behind her. The fact that Sofi Stadium also has an infinity video board that circles the entire stadium means even fans totally behind the stage were able to see Swift. The quality of the stage production, lighting, fashion, and overall quality of the concert had Architectural Digest describing the show as Taylor Swift’s most ambitious [set] ever and described the production as “world-building”. Which is exactly correct. Taylor brought fans into her world, which made each seat no matter how far or obscured special. 

What else made my experience at the Eras Tour special besides the production of the show itself? The people. In my experience, Swifties, the name for Taylor’s fiercely loyal fanbase, has gotten a bad rap. Of course, this is not without truth, especially when it comes to some fans and what they perceive as “protecting” Taylor Swift online, but that is another article. I can say confidently that my fellow concertgoers at the show were some of the nicest and most uplifting people I have met. There were smiles, compliments, and positivity all around.

The most spectacular thing about the crowd at the show was the diversity of the group, especially in terms of age. Yes, the majority of people at the show were adolescents or young adults like myself, but a significant and notable demographic was older women. The first group of people to compliment my outfit was a group of older ladies. Only a few seats down from my group were two women who were at least 75. The significance of this may not be obvious but to me, it was affirming and extremely joyful. I hope to be like those women when I am older. They are not hindered by what society says is appropriate for a certain age to enjoy, and they fully embrace the things that make them happy. For so long, being a Swiftie was considered basic, or something to hide. Taylor Swift was “guilty pleasure” music. Not anymore. Being a fan of Taylor Swift teaches you to be unapologetic about the things you love and the Eras Tour showcased that perfectly.

Taylor Swift is my favorite musician of all time, and seeing her live in concert even with what most would say were the worst seats in the house was one of the best moments of my life. Why? The production value, detail, and sheer work put into the show were exceptional, to say the least. The atmosphere of the show was electric, thanks to Swift herself and the community of Swifties in attendance. The experience of getting tickets was absolutely worth it. Taylor Swift has set the gold standard for concerts. From the moment the show began to the final bow it was obvious that Swift made this show for her fans, and isn’t that what concerts are all about? 

Emily Manus

UC Riverside '25

Emily is a third-year public policy major. She hopes to write about her passions and issues that are important to her as well as the UCR community. Emily's interests include the arts, media, and culture.