Entertainment

Taylor Swift fans descend on SoFi Stadium for ‘highlight of 2023’

Thousands of self-proclaimed ‘Swifties’ descended on the SoFi Stadium in California for the show on Wednesday (George Walker IV/AP, File)
Thousands of self-proclaimed ‘Swifties’ descended on the SoFi Stadium in California for the show on Wednesday (George Walker IV/AP, File) Thousands of self-proclaimed ‘Swifties’ descended on the SoFi Stadium in California for the show on Wednesday (George Walker IV/AP, File)

Taylor Swift fans in Los Angeles said seeing the US megastar perform would “definitely be the highlight of 2023”.

Thousands of self-proclaimed “Swifties” descended on the SoFi Stadium in California for the show on Wednesday, which is due to close out the first US leg of the singer’s The Eras Tour.

Many had dressed up for the occasion, wearing outfits based on their favourite albums or “era”.

Performances on The Eras Tour see Swift travel through her extensive back catalogue of hit songs, with the show divided into sections for each album.

Rebecca Flisnik had travelled back to Los Angeles early from a family gathering in New York after acquiring a last minute ticket for the SoFi show.

Ms Flisnik, 23, was dressed as the Reputation era, based on Swift’s sixth studio album, saying it was “important to express feminine rage”.

“It truly is incredible to finally be able to see her, having been a fan since her debut album,” she told the PA news agency.

“Taylor Swift was the first artist that I got into properly on my own – I related her music to my upbringing.

“I was eight when I first started listening, and I’m 23 now.

“This is definitely going to be the highlight of my 2023.”

On her outfit, she added: “I loved seeing angry Taylor take herself back, also my wardrobe naturally matched the Reputation era.”

Hayley Vee, 30, also hailed Swift as a childhood hero and said she “could not pass up the opportunity” to see her – having attended the show twice in two nights.

Taylor Swift The Eras Tour – Los Angeles
Taylor Swift The Eras Tour – Los Angeles Performances on The Eras Tour see Swift travel through her extensive back catalogue of hit songs (Chris Pizzello/AP)

“I had to see her twice,” she told PA.

“Seeing her perform songs from (album) Speak Now last night took me back to high school.

“That was the first CD I had in my car when I got my drivers permit at 15.”

Merchandise stores opened as early as 8am local time on Wednesday, a full 12 hours before the singer was due to take to the stage.

Fans at The Eras Tour shows have been encouraged to bring and trade handmade friendship bracelets, with thousands posting their exchanges online in previous days.

On Wednesday, some arrived with arms full of wristbands, bearing the names of top Swift songs, lyrics and other references to the singer.

Ryan Fish, 30, from Los Angeles, said that fans had been waiting since the start of the pandemic to see Swift perform at SoFi.

“This is closing night of the most history making tour of my generation,” he told PA.

“That’s what makes this so special, there was Lover fest pre-pandemic.

“She was supposed to come here and do three nights of shows so we’ve been waiting since pre-pandemic.

“Everyone’s been waiting for this.”

Others hoped that the date of the concert, August 9, written as 8/9 in the US, would see the announcement of a re-recorded version of Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989.

Niki, 28, from Los Angeles, told PA: “I’m super excited to see her and hoping she’ll announce Taylor’s Version of 1989.

“Every single song she writes I feel really connected to.

“She kind of describes every emotion you’re feeling and everything you think, she has a song for.”

Lindsay McCray, 37, wore an outfit based on 1989 because she also hoped Swift would announce the re-record.

“It’s also the era that made me fall in love with Taylor Swift,” Ms McCray said.

Norman, 27, also from Los Angeles, said: “I love this place, I love the energy – everyone is dressed according to code.

“It feels like everyone has the same mission tonight.”