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Taylor Swift Launches European Tour In Paris With Alterations To Setlist

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Taylor Swift enthusiasts from North America are going the extra mile—literally.

Commencing the 18-city European leg of her “Eras Tour” on Thursday in Paris, the pop star graced the París La Défense Arena stage, drawing in thousands of American Swifties who ventured overseas to catch a glimpse of her performance.

Thursday’s concert unveiled a fresh setlist, with tweaks that rearranged certain eras, such as elevating “Red” to an earlier slot in the night, and merging the “Evermore” and “Folklore” eras, as reported by social media users who shared updates from the event. Additionally, Swift debuted songs from ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ for the first time.

Over a quarter of tickets for the four Paris shows this weekend were snapped up by Americans, according to Frédéric Longuépée, CEO of the París La Défense Arena. He noted that tickets for all the venue’s shows sold out within an hour.

Kennedy Smith, 21, chose to forgo her college graduation to jet off with her mother, Kathleen Smith, 56, from Texas to Paris for Swift’s concert.

Kathleen Smith described the opportunity to see the singer as “nothing short of a miracle.” The duo pulled an all-nighter in hopes of securing tickets, which set them back around $1,500 each. They even arrived first in line on Wednesday to snag Swift-themed merchandise, leaving with two bags brimming with memorabilia.

For her daughter, the experience was the “trip of a lifetime.”

Initially, obtaining tickets for the North American “Eras Tour” proved challenging, prompting the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing criticizing Ticketmaster’s “monopoly” after the platform canceled ticket presales in November 2022 due to overwhelming demand.

Some fans encountered issues with their invite codes, while others found that tickets in their cart disappeared suddenly. In response, Ticketmaster offered some disappointed fans a second chance at purchasing tickets.

The saga continued when Ticketmaster halted ticket sales for “Eras Tour” shows in Paris and Lyon last year due to website crashes and technical glitches affecting over 700,000 fans in the queue.

Zoe McCormack, a Canadian fan, managed to secure tickets for multiple nights in Paris the following week after experiencing the Ticketmaster crash. She noted that her non-VIP tickets cost €190 each, approximately $205, making them more affordable than U.S. tickets.

Many tickets for Swift’s European shows were significantly cheaper than those for her U.S. dates, making them more accessible for North American fans who struggled to secure tickets or found U.S. prices prohibitive. Some resale tickets in the U.S. fetched tens of thousands of dollars.

Traveling abroad for concerts isn’t new, as purchasing tickets for U.S. concerts has become increasingly competitive and expensive for fans of popular artists like Swift, Beyoncé, and Olivia Rodrigo. Many American Beyoncé fans also opted to attend her “Renaissance World Tour” in Europe.

According to Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist Carl Bergqvist, Swift’s next stop in Stockholm anticipates around 10,000 American attendees, with airlines adding extra flights from nearby Nordic countries.

Last year, Swift received accolades from the U.S. Federal Reserve and several municipal governments for her economic impact as “The Eras Tour” bolstered nationwide tourism revenue. Europe may experience a similar effect, with Swift’s tour projected to inject over 500 million Swedish krona, or more than $46 million, into Stockholm’s local economy, as Bergqvist highlighted that all 40,000 hotel rooms in the city are booked for Swift’s three tour dates.

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