From the stadium to the cinema

Are you among the many people worldwide who have received the dreaded waitlist email from Ticketmaster? Have you, like me, felt the shame and despair of feeling like you will never get to attend the show of your dreams? There is no doubt that today’s demand for concerts and tickets is at an unprecedented level, and many of us face difficulties trying to catch an in-person glimpse of our favourite artists. As someone who has not once been selected by the all-powerful Ticketmaster gods, and has had to rely on the selection and presale codes of others, I often wonder: “Is there a better way?” Well, some artists think they may have an answer in newly-announced initiatives.

On August 31, millions of fans worldwide were overjoyed to discover that Taylor Swift had struck a deal to send her highly-publicized Eras Tour to movie theatres across North America. With the unprecedented demand for this tour, many speculated whether or not some sort of film would be released. The idea of an Eras Tour film was nearly all but confirmed on August 3, 2023. Fans attending the first of Swift’s six-night stint at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium noticed a high presence of filming equipment, and signage indicating recording of the event was posted all around the nearly 100,000-seat venue. There are significant benefits of sending tours like this to movie theatres. Firstly, and most obviously, it opens access to the performance so that more fans can experience it. With millions and millions of people missing out on tickets for the Eras Tour, going to your local cinema decked out in your favourite era-themed outfit with friendship bracelets in hand makes things substantially easier for those who may have previously missed out. 

There is also a significant decrease in the cost of a ticket for the film versus the in-person show. Tickets for the Eras Tour film range in price from $13.13 to $19.89 CAD. These prices, although more than your average movie ticket, not only signify important numbers in Taylor Swift lore, but offer a considerable discount from the hundreds or even thousands of dollars many have shelled out for a regular concert ticket. There is also the added bonus that you do not have to travel far to see the film at your local movie theatre, an especially great perk for those of us who live quite a ways away from the nearest concert-size stadium. 

With all of these benefits, however, there is considerable worry that the film will offer a diluted experience compared to actually going and seeing the tour. While, of course, there is no way to tell until the film’s release on October 13, some fans are trying to find ways to emulate the true Eras Tour experience. From outfits to friendship bracelets to fan chants and sing-alongs, there still is a question of whether or not any of these suggestions will even be allowed for fear of breaking standard movie theatre decorum. For many of us fans, however, the mere excitement of finally getting to see the Eras Tour outweighs any potential fears. 

The idea of going to see one of the biggest concerts of the year in our local cinemas is truly exciting. This leads me to wonder whether or not we should expect to see more artists doing this in years to come. Mere months after Swift announced her film, Beyoncé announced that a film version of her Renaissance tour will also be hitting theatres in December. Of course, although many fans are trying to pit the two films against each other, I think that this is an initiative more artists should take! Accessibility to in-person events like major concerts is not something that everyone has at their fingertips. By making films of this style, more and more people are able to experience the incredible music, visuals, and performances of their favourite artists. With Swift estimated to generate $100 million in revenue with the Eras Tour film going worldwide, there is no doubt that fans are excited to get to the theatre and sing along to the songs that shape their lives. With the film premiering this week, I, for one, will be busy excitedly preparing my outfit.

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