Taylor Swift fans in Argentina camp at stadium for 5 months for front-row seat
Hundreds of fans of American pop star Taylor Swift have been camping in tents outside Argentina’s Buenos Aires River Plate Stadium since June, hoping to snag front-row view when she performs three shows from Nov 9.
According to a report by American music publication Pitchfork on Thursday, the fans – best known as Swifties – have been taking turns to stay in four tents erected outside the stadium. They all have one goal in mind: to get as close to the stage as possible.
A fan, who wanted to be known only as Carmen, told Pitchfork she had spent more than 300 hours living out of the tents.
Another 21-year-old fan, who declined to be named, said her father does not know she has been spending her afternoons camping out, in between college classes and working shifts at her part-time job.
“I usually tell my dad I’m at a park drinking with somebody, or visiting a friend of mine who lives near the stadium,” she said.
No one below age 18 is allowed to stay in the tents.
The number of hours each fan spends in the tents is recorded on a spreadsheet, which is updated by two administrators, the report said.
While campers are not obliged to drop their responsibilities to stay in the tents, fans willing to stick it out, rain or shine, are given more benefits.
For instance, fans who camp out during a storm or spend a full night in the tent will get double the hours recorded on the spreadsheet. The more hours they clock, the more likely they are first in line to enter the stadium.
To maintain one’s spot on the front rows, campers are required to spend at least one full night and 60 hours in the tents monthly, according to the group’s rules.
These dedicated campers have had to deal with criticism from passers-by and football fans.
“People are very upset with us camping for some reason,” said Carmen.
“Sometimes you’re lying down, and you hear someone scream, ‘Go to work’, at 2am. You’re the one who’s outside a tent shouting at two in the morning, aren’t you supposed to work tomorrow? Does it really affect you that much?”
The stadium, which is the home turf of football club Club Atletico River Plate, sees a surge of football fans on match days.
On such days, the police would place a row of fences to protect the tents and have an officer guard them.
To kill time inside the tents, the Swifties study together, make friendship bracelets for one another, and bond over their shared love for their idol.
They use the nearby convenience store and petrol station for toilet breaks and meal breaks, said the report.
With less than a week to the concert, the fans told Pitchfork they are both anxious and excited.
Swift embarked on The Eras Tour earlier in 2023. She has more than 140 shows across five continents, including six shows in Singapore in March 2024.
Some fans in Singapore began queueing outside SingPost branches two days before ticket sales began in July. Tickets were snapped up quickly, both online and offline.