No tickets, no problem: Fans are ‘Taylor-gating’ outside SoFi Stadium

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Fans dress up for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour at SoFi Stadium, Aug 3, 2023; Inglewood, California. Photo by Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY.

Nothing can stop a Taylor Swift fan. Not even the lack of a ticket.

Hours before Swift’s performance on August 3, a crowd of “Swifties” gathered outside SoFi Stadium with picnic blankets and towels to sit and listen in on the concert. It looked like a tailgate – or a “Taylor-gate.”

“It feels like we just … have really bad seats,” says Erica Dowd, a fan who brought her daughter, Ashley, along to attend the concert outdoors. 

Dowd also joined the fans in trading friendship bracelets decorated with album names, song names, and individual song lyrics. This trade recently emerged as a reference to Swift’s song, “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” In it, she sings: “Everything you lose is a step you take, so make the friendship bracelets, take the moment, and taste it.”

Some Swifties were also eyeing the StubHub page for affordable tickets. Others gave away concert tickets for free to fellow Swifties. One lucky fan is Brenton Prouty.

“I've been a fan for 17 years, and I came out here to sit outside the stadium, look at a wall, and listen to her sing. And the fact that these people got me into the stadium is insane – and for free nonetheless. It's just a blessing beyond measure,” Prouty said. 

Once the show began at 8 p.m., about 100 people danced, sang, and partied outside for about 45 minutes – until security guards ushered them away. The Taylor-gate soon relocated across the lake outside of the stadium, where fans continued to scream the lyrics to Swift’s songs until the concert ended.