I’m bored of being broke – so I’ve splashed out on £700 Taylor Swift tickets

Taylor Swift
Fans are expected to each spend nearly £850 attending one of Taylor Swift's 15 concerts in the UK this summer - John Shearer/Getty Images North America

The Taylor Swift economic juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.

After generating an estimated $4.6bn (£3.6bn) in consumer spending in her home country with her blockbuster Eras Tour, the pop star – and newly minted billionaire – is set to invigorate Blighty’s sluggish economy as she brings the three-and-a-half-hour long show to our shores.

Fans will each spend nearly £850 attending one of her 15 concerts in the UK this summer, according to research carried out by Barclays. The data suggests that this spend easily eclipses the near-£400 that people pay on average to attend a UK-based wedding and is 12 times the £67 we spend on the average night out.

But we’re hardly living in flush times. Food inflation is still high, rents and mortgages are crippling, the economy is stagnant at best and the waves of lay-offs obliterating industries just keep coming.

All we hear about is how impoverished Gen Z and Millennials are right now, so how on earth – and why – are they splashing out almost a grand on a concert?

Well, I’m one of them. Yes, I’m an impecunious millennial who will be in the crowd at the Wembley Stadium come June, after shelling out hundreds of pounds to secure a ticket. Let me explain why.

Taylor Swift and her vast back catalogue have become a cultural phenomenon comparable to the days of Beatlemania and the fan adoration of Elvis Presley.

I enjoy her music, admire her lyrical prowess and when I watched snippets of the Eras Tour on social media – Swift swaggering around in a sequined blazer, turning the stage into a catwalk she struts up and down, banging out a tune on a moss-covered piano – I thought, “I’d like to be there, part of the audience of a concert that I suspect we will be talking about in 50 years’ time.”

The thought didn’t go any further until my friend, who lives in New York, contacted me to say she was thinking of coming to London and suggested that we go to the Taylor Swift concert.

My heart leapt but quickly sunk when she said that tickets were £711 each. Before I could break it to her that I couldn’t afford that, she left me another message, offering to cover half of my ticket, ostensibly because she stays with me whenever she is in London, but really because she is a kind and generous friend.

Listen, £356 is still more than I’ve spent on any kind of ticket that wasn’t a plane ticket but after a second of hesitation, I thanked her and said, “Yes, please”. I’d somehow earn a little more that month to cover my half of the ticket or pinch it out of my savings, but come what may, I was going to that concert.

Why? Because I’m bored of being broke, bored of a cost of living crisis that simply won’t end, bored of whining about the council tax going up or the utility bill stunning me every month or the fact that there seems to be no money anywhere and every single thing – from a bottle of shampoo to flights to Mallorca – costs more than it ever has before.

I’m bored of making sacrifices and I want to make some memories instead.

Do I think that £711 for a three-hour concert is eye-watering? Yes. (These are resale tickets which is why they are so very expensive, the original presale tickets which sold out within hours were far more affordable, with £194 seats being among the most pricey.)

But after a grey slump of a winter dominated by grim economic forecasts, I’ve decided there’s only so much scrimping one can do before misery sets in.

Summer is here, I’m itching for some fun and I’m willing to splash the cash to have a fabulous night with a friend – belting out Swift’s greatest hits and swapping friendship bracelets – that I suspect I’ll remember for years to come. You may, like my father, think I’m mad to spend that much on a pop concert but I don’t think I’ll have any regrets.

And with Swifties predicted to inject almost £1bn into the UK economy going to see the singer, it looks like I’m not alone in my reasoning.