2023: The Year of Swifties

Fireworks and confetti shoot off, as fans cheer for the end of a night of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.  The Eras Tour served as an opportunity for Swifties to connect with each other and the fandom as a whole.  “I went to the Eras tour with my son, we had such a great time,” said fan Kathleen Brown.
Fireworks and confetti shoot off, as fans cheer for the end of a night of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. The Eras Tour served as an opportunity for Swifties to connect with each other and the fandom as a whole. “I went to the Eras tour with my son, we had such a great time,” said fan Kathleen Brown.
Mason Marshall

It’s May 21, 2023, and she receives a text from a family friend, who graciously offers a ticket to the highly sought-after Eras Tour. Although she is not an avid listener, she knows some big radio hits; songs like “Love Story” and “Blank Space” can resonate with anyone.

Arriving at a friend’s house, they piece together a last-minute outfit. A light-pink summer-styled dress, featuring a plethora of strawberries; she hopes to capture the likeness of Lover and Red while fitting in with the more dedicated Taylor Swift fans. After arriving at Gillette Stadium later that day with her family friend, they find their seats. Over 180 minutes later, she would leave with a drastically different opinion of Taylor Swift.

Chilakapati at The Eras Tour in her pink dress. (Photo courtesy of Anuhya Chilakapati)

This is the story of Anuhya Chilakapati ‘25, who cites her experience at The Eras Tour as the primary reason she became a fan of Taylor Swift. A name that is recognizable to almost everyone, Swift has achieved and done more than most in 2023: March 17, she kicked off The Eras Tour, a live performance of the combination of her 10 studio albums; July 7, she released Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), which marked her twelfth album to reach the top of the Billboard 200 chart; October 13, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, her concert movie, was released in theaters; October 27, she continued her re-recordings with 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which sold more than one million copies in its first week; and impressively, on December 6, Swift was named person of the year by Time Magazine.

Through these powerful numbers and extraordinary feats, new fans were born, while old ones found stronger and more meaningful connections. 2023 quickly became the year of Swifties.


The Eras Tour 

Swift’s website-breaking and mayhem-inducing tour served as one of the central parts of a fan’s 2023 experience. Viewed as a culmination of her career and with 66 dates across America and 4.1 million tickets sold, the tour was seen by millions of Swifties. Chilakapati explained how “something that caught [her] attention was how hard [Swift] was working at the concert.” With three and a half hours of more than 40 songs, nine albums, and 16 costume changes, all performed with a show-stopping stage presence, there should be no surprise that Chilapkapti noticed this. For older fans like Kathleen Brown, it was simply about spending time with her son, all while listening to great music. 

It was so much fun to have people that just wanted to be there to have fun and listen to the music.

— Caroline Crawford

Amongst everything, most fans cited a central theme of the community centered around the Eras Tour. “One night we stood outside the stadium with all the other people who didn’t have tickets,” said Caroline Crawford ‘26. This idea of attending a concert outside the stadium became a popular choice in 2023 for many Swifties who were unable to purchase tickets. Even without a seat, or a good view of the set, they were able to have fun due to the group’s high energy. “It was so much fun to have people that just wanted to be there to have fun and listen to the music,” added Crawford.

Colorful bead and letter set allows fans to make friendship bracelets for trading at the concert. (Mason Marshall)

Similarly, attendees explained the impact that the simple act of friendship bracelet sharing had on their experience. Becoming a trend on various social media platforms, fans across the country began to make friendship bracelets to give out at the concerts. These colorful beaded treasures quoted Swift’s most famous songs and lyrics. Unknowing of this activity, Chilakapati explained how she “didn’t make any,” but “people were still trading bracelets with [her].” This allowed her to meet passionate fans while being included in numerous friendly interactions. A mere beaded bracelet allowed her to connect to the fandom.



Through the releases of two Taylor’s Versions in 2023, Swifties connected with them by making them their version too. For some fans, these re-recordings of previous albums allowed them to revisit their favorite songs while excitingly listening to the new changes. When Swift released 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Chilakapati enjoyed “hearing how [Swift] made it her own.” More notably, “I was really excited because I got to not only hear the songs all over again but hear how her voice has matured,” said Chilakapati. This experience of hearing old songs, with so much new, brought back old fans by strengthening their relationship with the album, while still attracting new fans.

In addition, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) allowed fans to connect on more meaningful levels through the platform of music. “Me and all my friends hung out and made a cake for it. We stayed up for the album drop and listened to the whole thing,” explained Crawford.  Crawford especially noted the special experience of hearing the new “From the Vault” or unreleased songs with her friends. A bonding experience for her and her friends, Crawford’s “super fun” night allowed her to find joy in being with other passionate fans.

Crawford’s Speak Now cake she made with her friends to celebrate the Taylor’s Version release. (Caroline Crawford)


Swift’s Actions & Songwriting

In 2023, fans lovingly noticed Swift’s hard work as a philanthropist and being an all-around excellent human. Brown described her as “a very good person,” citing her “good deeds.” One such action that Brown was especially excited to hear about was how Swift “spent so much money tipping people hundreds of thousands of dollars,” likely discussing how Swift gave her Eras Tour truck drivers $100,000 bonuses. Swift’s generosity in 2023, along with her tour and constant release of music, made it easy for listeners to feel proud of being a fan.

Not only do fans see Swift as generous, but many see her as an inspiration and role model. Through her broad discography, Swift tells the stories of almost everything: falling in love, teenage heartbreak, family, friendship, and loss. Her storytelling through her songwriting gives an outlet for listeners to be themselves and embrace their emotions, which rings especially true for female fans. “It’s really uplifting and encouraging to women,” said Chilakapati. For others, her songs allow them to ponder about their past. “Some of her sadder songs have caused me to reflect on past relationships or things that have happened during my life,” added Brown. By expanding and re-recording parts of her discography in 2023, fans continued to connect with her songwriting.


The Swiftie Community

After 365 days of non-stop listening to Taylor Swift, Swifties connected to the fandom on new levels. “I have definitely become much more of a fan, particularly in 2023,” said Brown. Through Swift’s shimmering Eras Tour, intriguing re-recordings, generous actions and inspiring storytelling, people connected over their love of Swift.  

A Morning Consult survey reported that some 53% of U.S. adults said they were fans of Swift. These fans can be found in almost every aspect of American lives. “I went to a concert with my son, my hairdresser is a Swiftie, there are multiple people at [my] work that are Swifties,” said Brown. These fans can be found at concerts, singing and dancing their hearts out together. These fans can be found listening to re-releases, excitingly celebrating and listening together. These fans can be found looking up to an inspirational celebrity, together. These fans can be found everywhere, sharing the same passion and joy. 2023: the year Swifties came together as a community.

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