$4,750 for Taylor Swift: Here's how much Kansas City fans spent on the Eras Tour

Fans have been waiting for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour to come to Kansas City since November, when presale tickets went on sale and, famously, Ticketmaster crashed. I was one of those fans, spending about seven hours waiting anxiously in the queue, logging back in after the crash and trying (and failing) multiple times for tickets.

After waiting forever and always, I got out with tickets for me and two friends — about $187 with fees for nosebleed seats. But in a wild turn of events, my friends’ dad got them VIP seats in the lower bowl and included a ticket for me.

As a woman of the people, I sold my ticket for exactly my purchase price — only to find out my friends’ dad didn’t want me to pay him unless I made a profit. So I am attending my first ever Taylor Swift concert with a free ticket.

I’ve gone to many concerts, but this is the first that I feel requires a themed outfit, accessories and friendship bracelets to trade with other fans — and previous stops on the tour show most fans feel the same way. The exorbitant Ticketmaster wait times and fees, even more expensive resale tickets and creative ways Swifities put outfits together got me thinking about how much people spend to see Taylor Swift.

Welcome to the Taylor Swift Money Diaries, where five people attending the Kansas City Eras tour dates have revealed exactly how much it cost.

Before we get into what they spent, I thought it was only right to be transparent about my costs:

Where do you live? Kansas City, MissouriWhat do you do for work? Reporter by day, Swiftie by nightHow old are you? 24How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “Speak Now” and “evermore”Favorite Song? A three-way tie between “Enchanted,” “The Lucky One,” and “tolerate it”What do you hope the surprise songs are? “Long Live” and “long story short”Concert total: $76.50Outfit: $66.50Lodging and transportation: $0Bracelets: $10Ticket cost: $0Number of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: 0, this will be the firstCraziest expense: The fact that I was lucky enough to not pay for a ticket

Maggie Stoltenberg

Where do you live? Lincoln, NebraskaWhat do you do for work? First-year teacherHow old are you? 22How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “evermore”Favorite Song? “right where you left me”What do you hope the surprise songs are? “right where you left me,” “Last Kiss”Concert total: $1,200Outfit: $150 in total for two outfitsLodging and Transportation: Staying in a friend’s apartment and then a hotel in St. Joseph, courtesy of her parents. She estimates she’ll spend about $50 for gas plus more for an Uber back from the concertBracelets: $200Ticket cost: $350 for Friday, $500 after upgrades for SaturdayNumber of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: Four, this will be her fifth and sixthCraziest expense: $200 in total for all friendship bracelet supplies

Stoltenberg has been a diehard Swiftie since she was a kid, when her mom would play “Taylor Swift” in the car on the way to school. She’s seen Swift on the “Red,” “1989” and “Reputation” tours. For this one, Stoltenberg was sure to get tickets to both nights — she even upgraded her Saturday seats, which she’s attending with her mom, to move down from the nosebleeds.

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Inspired by a lyric from “You’re On Your Own, Kid:” “Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it,” fans have been making and sharing friendship bracelets during the Eras tour.

Stoltenberg wanted to get in on the fun, initially planning to just make a couple dozen. She ended up making a bracelet for every single song — more than 225 bracelets made of embroidery floss with beads sewn in with a needle and thread.

“I’m kind of sad to see them go, but I’m really glad that I’ll be giving them to Swifties because I know they’ll appreciate it,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg has a different outfit for each of the nights. She’s hoping her purple “Speak Now” replica dress or sparkly fringe will help Swift notice her in the crowd.

Karina A.

Where do you live? Kansas City, KansasWhat do you do for work? Student and multiple jobsHow old are you? 23How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “Fearless”Favorite Song? “All You Had To Do Was Stay”What do you hope the surprise songs are? Back-to-back “Speak Now” songs on Friday and anything from “Fearless”Concert total: $4,750Outfit: $200 for all the outfits and accessoriesLodging and transportation: $1,500 for the other concerts she’s attended Bracelets: $50Ticket cost: $900 for both concerts this weekend, though she’s spent $3,000 total for the six Swift shows she’ll attend this yearNumber of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: Eight, including four this year alone. This weekend’s shows will be her fifth and sixth from this tour and tenth overallCraziest expense: Ubers to and from shows

Karina, a SuperSwiftie who didn’t want us to use her last name, has been saving up for the Eras tour since 2018, after the “Reputation” tour (which she got a front row, barricade seat to). Karina has seen Swift on nearly all of her tours — this weekend will be her fifth and sixth time seeing Swift on the Eras tour alone. Karina’s also gone to shows in Glendale, Arizona; Nashville, Tennessee and Foxborough, Massachusetts.

“I had a separate savings account and I had a piggy bank that I was collecting cash and coins in,” Karina said. “Then the tour dates got announced, I cashed in the piggy bank and put it in my account. I’ve been working a full-time job and doing stuff like babysitting and tutoring — picking up side gigs has been helping to pay for my expensive hobby.”

Karina has found a community at Swift concerts and plans to get to the shows early this weekend to trade bracelets and meet new people. She says she gets her money’s worth at each show, no matter the seats she’s in.

Despite all of the travel and ticket expenses, Karina says her getaway cars to and from the concerts have been her most surprising expense. It’s harder to plan for Uber surge pricing than it is to buy an Eras ticket.

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Morgan Shandler

Where do you live? Overland Park, KansasWhat do you do for work? Public relationsHow old are you? 35How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “Lover” and “Red”Favorite Song? “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” and “peace”What do you hope the surprise songs are? “Cornelia Street,” Superman,” “dorothea” or “Picture to Burn”Concert total: $770Outfit: $150Lodging and transportation: The to-be-determined cost of an Uber to and from the showBracelets: $0Ticket cost: $550 for a premium level ticket, after she sold her two $150 upper-level tickets for $350 eachNumber of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: Four, this will be her fifthCraziest expense: The tickets

Shandler got tickets through the Capitol One presale, but was only able to get two. Later, a friend with a Chiefs’ season ticket was able to get five premium tickets so her whole friend group could go.

She’s seen Swift on her “Fearless,” “Red,” “1989” and “Reputation” tours, but this time is a little different. This time, Shandler and her best friend (with whom she’s gone to almost every concert) have children.

“We’re both moms and feel kind of grown up,” Shandler said. “I feel like there’s nostalgia in some of the songs we listen to. We have memories of getting ready and going out in college listening to songs, and now I have memories of singing songs with my kids. A lot of the kind of more deep songs have impacted me in a different way now that I’m a mom.”

Being a mom is not stopping Shandler from having fun at the Eras show. She’ll don a sparkly, sequined outfit and body glitter, and bought blue gin and mixers ($70) to make Lavender Haze cocktails before the show.

Annie Wells

Where do you live? Des Moines, IowaWhat do you do for work? Corporate copywriter by day; slam poet by nightHow old are you? 24How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “folklore”Favorite Song? “the lakes” and “Forever and Always”What do you hope the surprise songs are? Something from “Speak Now,” “Better Than Revenge”Concert total: $528 (Wells only paid about $75, since her aunt gifted her the tickets and hotel)Outfit: $31 dress via Amazon, pack of two purple bows for $7Lodging and transportation: $217 for a one-night stay at the Hilton downtown, plus about $30 for gasBracelets: $35Ticket cost: $273Number of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: 0, this will be her firstCraziest expense: Travel to and from the show

This will be Wells’ first Swift concert. Her aunt, who is also a Swiftie, bought her and her friend, Moira, tickets for her birthday.

Wells, who’s lived in Des Moines since going to Iowa State in 2017, tried the presale codes for Chicago, Minneapolis and Kansas City. After spending about seven hours in line with Ticketmaster, she managed to get lower bowl seats for her and Moira, who became a friend because of Taylor Swift.

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“We do everything together,” Wells said. “She’s my best friend and she loves Taylor Swift as well.”

Friday will be their first Taylor Swift concert, which they prepared for by doing a “Speak Now” road trip: The pair drove down one road while listening to the album, re-released on Friday, and turned around during the halfway song. In total, they drove about 40 miles in the time it took to listen to the 67-minute album.

Shannon Rolle

Where do you live? North Kansas CityWhat do you do for work? Brand manager at Russell Stover Chocolates by day, trivia host by nightHow old are you? 33How long have you been a Swiftie? 17 yearsFavorite Album? “evermore”Favorite Song? “Bad Blood”What do you hope the surprise songs are? “Cornelia Street” and “Long Live”Concert total: $370Outfit: $150Lodging and transportation: Approximately $50 for Arrowhead parkingBracelets: $40Ticket cost: $130Number of Taylor Swift concerts before the Kansas City shows: 1, this will be her secondCraziest expense: She expects it’ll be merchandise or tickets

I caught up with Rolle while she was in the merch line Thursday morning. She and her friends got tickets after waiting more than nine hours in the Ticketmaster queue. The friend who bought the tickets wasn’t a huge fan of Swift’s originally, but after waiting in the ticket line, Rolle had her listen to the songs that converted her to a full-fledged Swiftie.

Rolle saw Swift in 2015 at her “1989” tour in Kansas City. The experience was one of the factors that convinced her to move to Kansas City. She expects this show to be just as life-changing.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing her live again and feeling the energy of the crowd,” she said. “Everybody is just so excited and happy and I know the concert’s beautiful and incredible, so I’m just excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with my Swiftie friend who is now Swiftie.”

Rolle also hosts trivia at Bar K on Wednesdays. She hosted a Taylor Swift-themed trivia night packed with more than 60 teams and shared friendship bracelets with attendees there. She estimates she has about 30 left to trade at the show.

This story used interviews sourced through KCUR’s texting services. If you have questions about texting with KCUR, you can find more information here.

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