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Lover Fest

We love her, but she needs to do better.

As a die-hard “Swiftie,” I hate having to write this callout article for Taylor Swift, but the way she has been handling her August 2019 album, “Lover,” leaves much room for improvement. Swifties have more information about the pop star than ever before, yet are left in the dark for problems actually pertaining to them.

Usually Swift boasts excitedly about tours, giving fans plenty of notice for ticket purchases and financial decisions, allowing as many as possible to see her live, yet Lover Fest is different.

I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember, seeing her on almost every tour she’s ever had. Yet, for this era, I have to skip a tour. Well, it’s less of a tour and more of a money grab. Instead of a traditional tour, Swift has decided to perform only at festivals across the globe in the summer of 2020. For her United States tour dates, she decided to create her own festival, Lover Fest, which will have four shows in two cities.

She will perform at Lover Fest West in Los Angeles, California, opening in the new SoFi stadium home to the NFL team the Los Angeles Rams. Next, she will travel to Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Massachusetts for Lover Fest East. These are currently the only confirmed show dates in the United States.

Despite Lover Fest being marketed as a festival, there are no confirmed performers other than Swift. The event has been described as “Taylor Swift and Friends,” but fans are left wondering through the silence. Are the friends that Swift refers to other acts? During tours, especially the “1989” tour, Swift has been known to bring out friends on stage and perform a cover of their song with them.

The lack of lineup is suspicious, especially considering the number of famous friends she has. Fans have started questioning if “friends” even refers to other acts at all, but rather the fans that will be attending the shows. But what is a festival without a lineup? The same as a festival taking place in a stadium.

The venues for Lover Fest are less than ideal. Neither stadium is located in an optimal location for fans that have to travel. Visiting fans will have to handle finding transportation, lodging and food, on top of paying for their ticket.

Most festivals are in large outdoor venues that can hold far more people than a football stadium. These venues provide space for multiple stages, meaning multiple acts can perform at the same time, allowing attendees to choose which artist they want to watch. Again, it raises the question if there will even be multiple acts.

All of this might not be such a problem if ticket sales hadn’t already started. Swift is expecting fans to drop tons of money on tickets for shows that are almost a year away. Presale ticket prices range from $50-$400. This is all typical for Swift, following the pattern of previous tours, but the lack of information feels heavier than in previous years. Before, fans knew the full extent of her tour before purchasing tickets, allowing them to make the best decision they can.

For example, if the fan is a student, their summer plans are likely unclear in the fall, but they know their winter break schedule already. Knowing that, they can try to make a winter break show work instead of a summer show. With Lover Fest, fans don’t even know if this is the only chance they’ll get at seeing the “Lover” album live.

It is likely that Swift will announce a national tour after fans have already purchased Lover Fest tickets. Throughout the “Lover” era, Swift expressed interest in not playing stadiums like she used to earlier in her career.

For her recent “Reputation” tour, Swift played only stadiums. Despite this desire to play smaller venues, stadium shows are the only shows listed for the tour. Was Swift lying, or does she have more in store for fans?

Taylor Swift is always one to go above and beyond for fans, one of the many reasons fans are so loyal to her. Her meet and greets are always free. She has members of her family and her “Taylor Nation” team go around concert venues and select lucky fans to meet after the show.

She also finds fans through social media and invites them to special events. Some fans met her before the shows on the “Reputation” tour. Some got to meet her at special AT&T sponsored events. The luckiest of fans will get to meet her at one of her houses.

For three albums now, Swift has done “secret sessions.” Those lucky enough to attend are invited into her house for hours, where they’ll get to eat catered food and homemade baked goods. They hear the album about a month early and get around five minutes of one-on-one time with Swift. Clearly, she cares about her fans, so why is she making them struggle so much with tour tickets?

Actually obtaining tickets is a nightmare. Fans that are willing to drop money on a tour have to overcome obstacles and spend an outrageous amount of money. Only “verified fans” have access to a presale; priority was supposed to be based on a boost system from the “Reputation” tour. However, fans who got priority during that tour are finding no luck for Lover Fest.

Fans across the board are being met with a waiting screen informing them that 2000+ people are ahead of them. To be fair, prices are lower than the “Reputation” tour, but only presale prices are available right now.

In an email that Ticketmaster sent to verified fans, they revealed that presale prices are at a reduced rate from general sale tickets. That means anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to snag a ticket today will not only have to fight the masses for a ticket, but pay more for a system error in Ticketmaster.

Multiple Swifties on Twitter have spoken up, distressed about their situation. Some have claimed to have waited for hours with still no entry into the site. Ticketmaster also inflates prices based on demand, meaning that those who were only able to get in toward the end of the day are forced to pay an outrageous price. The Capital One presale already has raised prices, starting nosebleeds at $100. Fans are fearful for what costs general sale will bring.

Lover Fest is a mess. Fans are lost and confused, and Taylor Swift is offering no insight into the situation. There are definitely some lucky fans who were able to secure tickets, but most of them spent hours in line waiting for the chance. Those who were unable to secure tickets are miserable, wondering how some users got the opportunity to purchase tickets to many shows when they were unable to get tickets to even one.

Hopefully Swift will realize that while starting a new festival may seem cool, it is actually hurting fans. She is still my favorite celebrity, but I have to admit that I will be viewing her through a harsher lens than before. Virtually attending the Lover Fest shows via someone’s shaky Instagram story will certainly be less exciting than sitting on the floor like I have in the past.

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