Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour could take in $1 billion this summer – and Beyoncé’s Renaissance shows could top that record-setting pace.
But beyond massive paydays for the artists and their promoters, Renaissance and Eras represent real impacts on the economies of cities where the tours are stopping, with spending on concert tickets and merch to beauty rituals, travel and clothing so massive that it’s being factored into the way analysts see the economy in 2023.
Jordyn Holman, who looked into the phenomenon for The New York Times with colleague Jeanna Smialek, says part of the rush to spend on these artists is “revenge spending” – making up for those long pandemic months when there were no concert events to dress up for. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:
Texas Standard: Taylor Swift spent a lot of the past few months touring the U.S. – six sold-out shows in Arlington and Houston. Can you talk a little bit about some of the ways her fans have been spurring economic activity in the places where she’s making appearances?
Jordyn Holman: Absolutely. So it’s been years since Taylor Swift has been on tour, and fans have definitely felt that pent-up demand. And they are manifesting that by spending on new outfits, making sure they’re wearing all the glitter and shimmery things.
And then also they’re flying to new places. Maybe they don’t live in Dallas, but they flew in there, and then that means they’re buying a hotel room. They are doing some of the sideline parties. A lot of the hotels have different mixers, or the friendship bracelets. So it’s like a whole economy is being built around the concerts.
We have another top performer, one with definite Texas ties: Beyoncé is bringing her Renaissance Tour to the U.S.; she spent a lot of the summer performing in Europe. What about the impact following the excitement for those shows? And we should say Beyoncé will be bringing the tour to her hometown of Houston in September. What’s happening there? And is it very much the same as what’s happening with the Taylor Swift shows?
Yes, it is. So what was really fun about reporting this story is that these concerts are actually happening on parallel tracks and having about the same amount of economic activity. So both Beyoncé and Taylor are expected to generate about $4.5 billion in not just the concerts, but all of the spending that’s happening around one another. So that was a cool stat that stood out between both of them.
And to your point, when it comes to Beyoncé fans, they too are willing to get on planes and book these hotel rooms. They are getting elaborate nails that match either Beyoncé’s wardrobe or the nails that she’s had in previous shows. That was a fun detail that came out of it.
A lot of businesses in the cities that they go to are capitalizing on this trend. So in New York City, when Beyoncé was in town, a local cruise ship company did a Beyoncé-themed dance party night that people going to the concert went to learn the choreography – but also people who didn’t have tickets, just wanted to have a Beyoncé moment, and that was their moment. So those are the kind of ways that people are spending their money.