Getting a Taylor Swift ticket in the United States may seem challenging, but the competition becomes even fiercer among Swifties in Asia. In Singapore, her only stop in Southeast Asia, millions of fans from across the continent are vying for approximately 300,000 seats at the singer’s six “Eras Tour” shows next year.
The general ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s six concerts in Singapore, which mark a significant event for her Asian fans, began on Friday. The “Eras Tour,” a global extravaganza that commenced in March and encompasses over 100 shows on five continents, has triggered a ticket frenzy and is projected to generate a record-breaking $1 billion or more in sales. Some fans have humorously referred to the intense competition for seats at Swift’s concerts as “The Great War,” inspired by a song from her 2022 album, “Midnights.”
However, the battle for tickets in Asia appears to be even more intense. Fans on the world’s most populous continent have only two options to catch Swift’s performances: Japan and Singapore. Iqhram Khan, a devoted fan from neighboring Malaysia, expressed his astonishment at the ticket-buying experience, saying, “I’ve never encountered anything like this when purchasing concert tickets.” Khan, who has been a dedicated Swiftie for over 15 years, previously attended her concerts in Malaysia in 2014 and Japan in 2018. He was fortunate enough to secure a ticket to one of the shows in Singapore.
Initially, Taylor Swift had announced seven concerts in Asia for next year: four at the Tokyo Dome in February and three at the Singapore National Stadium in March. However, due to the overwhelming demand, the number of shows in Singapore was doubled, as stated by promoter AEG Presents Asia.
In February, she is also scheduled to perform seven shows in Australia.
In Japan, ticket distribution follows a lottery system. In Singapore, there was a Wednesday presale exclusively for credit card holders at United Overseas Bank, which led to a 45% increase in the bank’s daily average credit card applications across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, according to Bloomberg News.
General ticket sales for the Singapore shows are limited to those who registered in June and were selected to receive a code. However, the code does not guarantee a ticket. Ticketmaster introduced this additional step as a “defense against bots.”
Despite the competition and the possibility of long-distance travel, Asian Swifties remain determined to see their idol.
Khan recounted waiting in line for four hours to obtain a United Overseas Bank card after the international shows were announced. On Wednesday, he prepared himself hours in advance of the presale, opening multiple browsers on five different devices.
His chances seemed slim, though. Almost all of his queue numbers had six or seven digits: 600,000, 800,000, 1 million.
“Fortunately, one of the queue numbers was 59,000,” he said. “That one browser was my only hope of getting the tickets.”
After an hour, he secured his ticket and promptly made hotel and transportation arrangements.
Similar to their counterparts in the U.S., Swift fans in Asia have voiced their concerns about bots and scalpers. Khan remarked that if it weren’t for them, “more genuine fans would have the opportunity to purchase concert tickets.”
Fans who missed out on the Singapore presale had another chance on Friday when general ticket sales commenced.
Marine Wu, a 27-year-old student from China, revealed that she had been restless the night before due to nervousness.
“I don’t want to miss this chance to see her,” she expressed.
When she succeeded, Wu couldn’t contain her excitement and “ran around my house twice.”
Lee Yongwoo, an assistant professor in cultural studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, believes that the reason for Taylor Swift’s worldwide popularity, not just in America but also in Asia, lies in her musical authenticity.
Lee commended Swift’s exceptional composition and songwriting abilities, acknowledging her talent as a captivating storyteller whose narratives deeply resonate with people.
Even Pita Limjaroenrat, the prominent contender for Thailand’s prime minister position, proudly declared himself a devoted Swiftie. He extended an invitation to the singer, urging her to return to the country where her concert was unfortunately canceled in 2014 due to a military coup that took place just days before.
“Hey Taylor! I’m a huge fan of yours,” Pita, the leader of the progressive Move Forward Party, expressed on Twitter. “By the way, Thailand has made significant progress towards reestablishing full democracy since your last cancellation. The Thai people have spoken through the elections, and we eagerly anticipate welcoming you to our beautiful nation!”
Remaining fans are still holding onto hope for an opportunity to attend one of her shows.
Blue Shi, a 26-year-old teacher residing in China’s Fujian province, attempted to secure tickets in Singapore but ultimately joined the Tokyo lottery. She anxiously awaits the release of the results later this month. Traveling to Japan would require a lengthy flight, obtaining a passport and visa, which she has sought assistance from a travel agency for. Additionally, she needs to arrange coverage with her colleagues during her absence.
“For me, it’s not a problem at all,” Shi remarked. She discovered Swift’s music during her junior high school years and was deeply moved by her heartfelt songs, particularly those that explore themes of love. “Having a ticket would empower me to overcome any obstacles.”