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Swift mania in overdrive on the eve of Eras tour kick-off in Oz

Global superstar Taylor Swift landed in Melbourne in the early hours of Thursday as Australian fans gathered in darkness to try to catch of their idol amid global madness WATCH THE VIDEO

Taylor Swift fans flock to the Melbourne Jet Base to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift as she arrives in Melbourne by private plane. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jake Nowakowski
Taylor Swift fans flock to the Melbourne Jet Base to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift as she arrives in Melbourne by private plane. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jake Nowakowski

READING LEVEL: ORANGE

UPDATED
It was Swiftmania at Melbourne’s Tullamarine as avid* fans fought off sleep to wait for the pop superstar to land in Australia.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police were out in force, closely guarding the airport’s three exits, as rugged up fans eagerly tracked Taylor Swift’s silver private jet in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Taylor Swift fans flocked to the Melbourne Jet Base to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift as she arrived in Melbourne by private plane. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Taylor Swift fans flocked to the Melbourne Jet Base to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift as she arrived in Melbourne by private plane. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

The plane’s landing was met with rapturous* applause from fans as the wheels touched Australian soil just after 12.45am.

Swift and her team were whisked straight into a waiting car and into the private terminal, disappointing fans who had hoped to catch a glimpse of the star in the flesh.

For those Swifties gathered at the jet base, however, simply being in the vicinity* of their idol was a dream come true.

These two girls were up well past their bedtime in order to watch Taylor Swift’s private jet arrive after midnight on Thursday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jake Nowakowski
These two girls were up well past their bedtime in order to watch Taylor Swift’s private jet arrive after midnight on Thursday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jake Nowakowski

It was the second long-haul flight for the 34-year-old in a matter of days, after Swift was rushed offstage at the end of her Tokyo concert to make it in time for the NFL Super Bowl kick off on Sunday (local time) in Las Vegas.

The Shake It Off singer is set to perform at three sold out shows at Melbourne’s MCG this weekend, with the first on Friday night, before heading to Sydney for four back-to-back sold-out concerts next weekend.

Taylor Swift’s first Australian concert as part of the Eras tour is in Melbourne on Friday. Picture: Christopher Jue/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
Taylor Swift’s first Australian concert as part of the Eras tour is in Melbourne on Friday. Picture: Christopher Jue/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Her mammoth three hour-plus concerts are expected to include 44 tracks from across her career, including Lover, Cruel Summer, Fearless, Love Story, 22, Cardigan, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and … Ready For It?

Aussie fans are hoping the hit maker will play one of the tracks from her newly-announced The Tortured Poets Department album during the Melbourne and Sydney shows.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Taylor Swift touches down in Australia for Eras Tour

SUPER BOWL STYLE
Taylor Swift has sent devoted Australian fans a subtle* message that she’s dressing for success Down Under.

Ahead of her sold out Melbourne and Sydney concerts, sharp-eyed Swifties spotted the pop superstar wearing an Australian designer to cheer boyfriend Travis Kelce’s NFL team the Kansas City Chiefs to victory at the mega-hyped* Super Bowl* on Monday (AEST).

Swift’s presence at the Super Bowl meant extra security detail but some commentators have credited her with making the difference after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in overtime on February 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images
Swift’s presence at the Super Bowl meant extra security detail but some commentators have credited her with making the difference after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in overtime on February 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images

Swift – sharing a VIP suite alongside her A-list friend Blake Lively and other celebrities at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas – wore a crochet* corset-style* top by luxury Aussie brand Dion Lee, which retails online for $650.

Its creative director, Dion Lee founded the label in 2009 and the brand has since helped steer a modern identity for Australian fashion.

Leading retail marketing and consumer researcher Professor Gary Mortimer said “consumers are constantly looking at what celebrities are wearing and hope to secure similar if not the same product.”

Corsets have been around for centuries but the Dion Lee version Swift chose to wear to the Super Bowl was a crocheted modern take. Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Corsets have been around for centuries but the Dion Lee version Swift chose to wear to the Super Bowl was a crocheted modern take. Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) professor said there was a link between celebrities, sports stars and royals wearing an outfit and it “immediately selling out online and in store.”

As predicted, the Dion Lee crochet top has so far sold out in multiple sizes.

Prof Mortimer said despite the cost of living crisis, Swift fans would fork out hundreds of dollars to recreate Swift’s style.

“If you are a big Taylor Swift fan and she happens to be wearing an outfit that is accessible to you, you will make a decision to procure* that item despite the cost of living crisis,” Prof Mortimer said.

“When it comes to fashion, celebrity endorsement* is a critical factor for retailers*.”

The Taylor Swift effect is real, according to retailers and consumer marketing researchers. Picture: Christopher Jue/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
The Taylor Swift effect is real, according to retailers and consumer marketing researchers. Picture: Christopher Jue/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Google has since reported searches for the term “sequins” are at a record high in Australia. A Google spokeswoman said the spike was directly linked to the Eras tour and its local leg, which kicks off in Melbourne on Friday.

Owner of Brisbane online retailer Beginning Boutique, Sarah Timmerman said the “Taylor Swift effect” has had a positive impact on her business, which sold more than 4000 sequined items since January.

“The Taylor Swift effect is very real, and it is a really welcome change for Australian retail for sure,” Ms Timmerman said.

Sometimes the “Taylor Swift effect” is more fleeting, as seen in Victoria on Sunday when the anonymous artist "Banksy of Barwon Heads" created a 100-metre-long sand sculpture of the superstar and her cat. Picture: James Anderson/Turbo360.au
Sometimes the “Taylor Swift effect” is more fleeting, as seen in Victoria on Sunday when the anonymous artist "Banksy of Barwon Heads" created a 100-metre-long sand sculpture of the superstar and her cat. Picture: James Anderson/Turbo360.au

SWIFT AS SHIFTING SAND
Tay Tay fever has even swept across Victoria’s shifting sands – but not for long.

A 100-metre-long sand sculpture featuring the Karma singer and her cat was etched in sand near Victoria’s Barwon Heads but hours later was washed clean away.

Created by an artist known as the “Banksy of Barwon Heads” – a play on the name of the anonymous* UK street artist and activist* – the piece was created with just a small rake, before the sun rose on Sunday morning.

“I draw in a caricature* style, very large and in the dark, the events that happen around me here in Victoria,” the anonymous artist said.

“I drew Shane Warne when he passed, then his friend Ed Sheeran (which was a commission* for his last album) and his friend Taylor Swift.”

“She is a regular person with pet cats, but wow, she is a superstar isn’t she? I was trying to find the person she is behind it all.

“The drawing lasted about two hours; similarly, she will be here a short time, then disappear off into the world again.”

The artist completed the portrait before the sun rose on Sunday morning and said it lasted about two hours. Picture: James Anderson, Turbo360.au
The artist completed the portrait before the sun rose on Sunday morning and said it lasted about two hours. Picture: James Anderson, Turbo360.au

The artist, who only goes by the name “Edward”, gained international attention during the severe bushfires in 2020.

A photograph of his 120-metre-long sand artwork showed an image of a koala clinging to a tree branch with a sunset obscured* by bushfire smoke.

Titled “Australia Burning”, the artwork was seen by 110 million people online, touching the hearts of many people who felt helpless about the devastation to Australian wildlife.

The artist has said his growing understanding of proprioception — a person’s perception of where their body is in space — helped him to gain a perspective of the area from above.

Seen from the air, the artwork made a striking addition if fleeting addition to the Bellarine Peninsula coastline. Picture: James Anderson, Turbo360.au
Seen from the air, the artwork made a striking addition if fleeting addition to the Bellarine Peninsula coastline. Picture: James Anderson, Turbo360.au

WATCH THE VIDEO

Taylor Swift touches down in Australia for Eras Tour

POLL

GLOSSARY

  • avid: keen, enthusiastic, dedicated and devoted
  • rapturous: elated, with great enthusiasm, ecstatic and joyful
  • vicinity: area around a particular place, the surrounding neighbourhood
  • subtle: not very obvious or easy to notice
  • mega-hyped: massively promoted, something constantly advertised and discussed in the media
  • Super Bowl: annual championship game between the two best teams in the America’s National Football League (NFL)
  • crochet: type of needlework used to make garments involving looping and intertwining wool or thread with a hooked needle
  • corset: close-fitting and shape enhancing garment with a history spanning hundreds of years
  • endorsement: support, approval, backing something or someone
  • procure: obtain, acquire, get something
  • retailers: people, shops and businesses that sell goods to the public
  • anonymous: unnamed, unidentified, a person whose name is not known
  • activist: someone who campaigns or otherwise acts to bring about political or social change
  • caricature: drawing or description that exaggerates a person’s appearance or behaviour in a humorous or critical way
  • commission: to choose and pay someone to do a special piece of work
  • obscured: concealed, covered, hidden

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which Australian designer did Swift choose to wear at the Super Bowl?
  2. What type of garment was it and what is its Australian retail price online?
  3. Google searches for which word are at a record high in Australia?
  4. How long was the Barwon Heads sand sculpture of Swift?
  5. How long did it last before being washed away?

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UPDATE

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Taylor Swift mania
The upcoming Taylor Swift concerts, with sold out shows in Sydney and Melbourne over the next fortnight, are bringing much excitement to these two major cities and her millions of fans.

What are the long-reaching benefits of her concerts to the economy and people of these two cities?

Taylor Swift concert benefits:
Retail:

Economy:

Hotels:

Pubs, restaurants and eateries:

Public transport and ride shares:

City businesses:

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
What do you think all the hype surrounding Taylor Swift coming to Australia is about?

Are you excited to see and hear about it, perhaps even go to the concert if you were lucky enough to get tickets?

What other concerts have you heard of that have caused this much hype and excitement?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Imaginative dialogue
Imagine you were there during one of the two main events being discussed in the article, or for the interview.

Create a conversation between two characters from the article – you may need or want to include yourself as one of the characters. Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.

Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.