NI Swifties prepare for Dublin Eras tour dates

Taylor Swift
The Tortured Poets Department singer brings her renowned Eras tour to Dublin from Friday [Getty Images]

It's been a long time coming but the wait is almost over.

Tickets for Taylor Swift's Dublin dates went on sale about a year ago.

The playlists are on repeat, the friendship bracelets are made and the cowboy boots are awaiting their inaugural outing, for those who managed to nab tickets.

The record-breaking and globally renowned popstar will be bringing her hotly anticipated Eras tour to the Aviva Stadium for three sold-out nights beginning on Friday 28 June.

So, how are Swifties, a nickname given to Taylor Swift fans, getting ... Ready For It?

Swifties getting crafty

There's an air of excitement among members of Queen's University Belfast's Taylor Swift Society.

Songs are playing from a small speaker as fans get busy making colourful friendship bracelets - a nod to lyrics in You're On Your Own Kid - which will be traded with other fans at the shows.

The coloured beads and letters make reference to the singer's Eras - albums she has released - songs or even fan inside jokes.

Someone makes a friendship bracelet spelling out 'Macavity' - a reference to Swift's cameo in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats
One fan makes a bracelet referencing Swift's cover in the 2019 musical film Cats [BBC]

Some in the room don't even have tickets, and are merely there to join in on the fun.

The society's president, 21-year-old Ellie McGuigan, said it is the fourth workshop they've hosted as Swifties gear up to the show.

"We've been running so many events throughout the year and everybody I talk to about the Eras tour is like: 'What are you wearing? What is your dream surprise song?'" she told BBC News NI.

young women around a table making friendship bracelets out of beads
Though a fairly recent addition to the Taylor Swift fandom, friendship bracelets have become a staple for those going to her concerts [BBC]

Ellie said she's been a "fully-fledged Swiftie" since she spotted the singer's cameo in the 2009 film Hannah Montana: The Movie.

After a full-scale operation last summer to get tickets, she'll be attending the show with her friend and fellow fan, Amber Monahan.

"I’ve loved Taylor Swift pretty much forever, but I think I become a massive Swiftie when I was around 11 or 12 and 1989 came out," Amber explained.

"I had the CD and I put it in my mum’s car and we would just drive around singing the songs and making up little harmonies, and I’ve just sort of stayed with her since then."

Ellie McGuigan and Amber Monahan
Ellie McGuigan and Amber Monahan are both heading to the singer's second show in Dublin this weekend [BBC]

Regardless of whether you're a Taylor Swift fan or not, you're bound to have seen a TikTok or two, or even watched the Disney+ film of the 34-year-old performing some of her greatest hits on tour.

But Amber has been trying to avoid as many "spoilers" as she can.

"I’ve had a quick scan of the setlist just to make sure that there aren’t any songs that I don’t know... apart from that, I haven’t really been following it on social media because I want everything to be a surprise as much as possible," she added.

Ellie has also been trying to restrict herself, skipping videos of Swift's latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, but it has not been easy.

"People have constantly been asking us about it, so I don’t think even if we’ve been avoiding spoilers, we’ve been able to fully avoid the tour itself," she said.

What should I wear to Taylor Swift shows?

Feather boas, sparkles and cowboy hats are a staple in any Swiftie's wardrobe. But those attending the shows, like Ellie and Amber, have opted to tailor their outfits to reflect the different albums such as Lover and Midnights.

Eliana Glazer and Róisín Costelloe have spent the majority of the year planning their tour looks.

"I waited four or five months for the outfit I wanted to come back in stock," Róisín said.

"I think I was going to spin it as Debut, but I think it’s more Midnights, so my jewellery’s going to be all star-shaped to match my outfit."

Eliana Glazer and Róisín Costelloe
Eliana Glazer and Róisín Costelloe have been Swifties for years [BBC]

Eliana's outfit planning started nine months ago, with the hopes of co-ordinating with the other seven people in her friend group who are going.

"I have a dress at home which is kind of giving Debut, Fearless vibes so white and flowy," she explained.

"I’ve got some boots and [Róisin] gave me a black cowboy hat so it’s all kind of come together now."

This will be both Eliana and Róisín's first time seeing Swift in concert, and both are hoping she will play their favourite tracks for the surprise songs.

"I would love Timeless or the song from Hannah Montana, You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home," Róisín admitted.

"She’s feeding the delusion on TikTok, everyone’s saying it could be a possibility!"

The fans who are 'Taylor-gating'

There will be many, like Ava Turnbull, who won't be Shaking It Off inside the Aviva having missed out on tickets last year.

She first became a Swiftie when she was just three years old, after her former babysitter played the critically-acclaimed 1989 album on repeat.

Now, a decade later, 13-year-old Ava is still as obsessed with Swift as she was then.

"I love Taylor because she is a really good role model for everyone and she works hard for everything she achieves," she explained.

She's even been inspired to start performing because of Swift.

"My old babysitter started to teach me the guitar when I was nine and we always play Taylor Swift songs together and mash ups of all her songs - it's my favourite thing to do," she said.

Ava Turnbull
Ava even saved up money from her own busking performances for a ticket but to no avail [Ava Turnbull]

Ava and her family have tried everything over the last year to get tickets, with Ava even saving up money from her own busking performances - but none could be found.

However, not having a ticket won't stop Ava from experiencing the Swiftie magic - even if it is from afar.

She and her friends instead have opted to 'Taylor-gate' - a phrase coined by ticketless fans who gather outside the venue to listen to the singer.

"We are all going to dress up as different eras - I think I'm going to dress as the Red album," she said.

"We are going to make the friendship bracelets for each album and hope to give them to people outside the stadium."

Are there any tickets left for Swift's Dublin shows?

All of Swift's three shows at the Aviva Stadium are sold out, but some inflated tickets are listed on third-party selling sites.

However, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have urged fans using these sites to exercise caution.

Police previously said that in Northern Ireland last year, about £300,000 was lost to ticket fraud, including one fan who reported losing £600 when trying to buy tickets for Swift.

Ticketmaster have said verified resale tickets are available to purchase on its website.

Who is supporting Taylor Swift?

Support comes from American rock band Paramore - fronted by Swift's friend Hayley Williams.

The trio are promoting their sixth album This Is Why, and are expected to play nine songs from their extensive back catalogue.

Williams and Swift recently collaborated for the latter's re-recorded Speak Now vault track Castles Crumbling.

What time do the concerts start and end?

A person wearing homemade friendship bracelets with different Taylor Swift references
Friendship bracelets are an essential part of a Swiftie's Eras tour outfit [Reuters]

Doors to the Eras Tour are due to open at 17:00 local time, however some fans with early entry packages may be let into the venue from 15:00.

The event's promoter MCD has said the show will start at 18:00 with opening act Paramore.

Swift is then expected to begin her mammoth three-and-a-half hour set from about 19:30.

What else is happening in Dublin that weekend?

If you thought Dublin was only going to be Swift-city during the concert weekend, think again.

A Google Map screenshot outlining where Malahide Castle, Croke Park, Merrion Square, Aviva Stadium and Marlay Park are in Dublin
A number of other events are taking place this weekend in Dublin [BBC]

A number of other events will be taking place across the Republic of Ireland's capital, including:

  • Shania Twain, Malahide Castle - Friday 28 June

  • Dublin Pride parade, Dublin city centre - Saturday 29 June

  • Longitude Festival, Marlay Park - Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June

  • GAA football All-Ireland quarter finals, Croke Park - Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June