Taylor Swift fan flies from New York for Principality Stadium gig and is blown away by Cardiff

Woman smiling in sunshine the day before the Taylor Swift concert
-Credit: (Image: Bethany Gavaghan)

It is now less than 24 hours before the day that Taylor Swift takes to the stage in the Principality Stadium, where she will be performing to a sold-out crowd, and excitement is building in the city. Fans have travelled not only from different parts of Wales, but from all over the world to be able to see the singer perform in Cardiff - from Canada to California and New York City.

Fans were queuing in the city centre on Monday, June 17 - more than 24 hours before the Welsh show - right across the bridge by the Principality stadium to buy merchandise, some of whom had queued since the early hours. Swifties in Wales have been counting down the days to the gig since July, 2023 when it was first announced, and now the time has finally come.

Rachel Doyle, from New York City, has flown all the way over just for this event, and has been blown away so far by Cardiff and the atmosphere. Get your limited edition Taylor Swift OK! glossy mag here

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Rachel said: “My friend and I saw Taylor once in New York City and we had so much fun that we wanted to see her again, so we signed up for lots of pre-sale codes in Europe to get more tickets, and Cardiff was the one we managed to get. The city has a very specific charm and is very unlike other European cities that I’ve seen. It’s cute, and I like how small it is."

Woman smiling in sunshine the day before the Taylor Swift concert in Cardiff, with merchandise
Rachel holding some of the merchandise she bought from the stand in Cardiff, next to the Principality Stadium -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan

When asked how the atmosphere in Cardiff today compared to what it was like in New York before the Eras concert, Rachel said: “We didn’t have the Tortured Poets Department section, so this is a completely different vibe and it’s going to be a completely different show. But it’s a lot less crowded which is kind of nice because it was a complete madhouse before the show in New York.

"There's a lot less people here, but I kind of like that. I've just been to get some merchandise and have bought a blue crew neck. I do have one back in New York, but I wanted another one because it's my favourite sweatshirt. I'm most excited for the Tortured Poets section because we didn't have that."

Some Swifties from Canada have also found it easier to get tickets in Cardiff rather than where they are from, and have been impressed by Cardiff so far. Nicole Butz, who is from Calgary, Alberta, has come over to Wales with her mum to see Taylor Swift, as well as some family in Cardiff.

Nicole, who has never been to Cardiff before said: “There was a pre-sale code and we signed up for it here because we had family in Cardiff and there’s no concert where we live. We haven’t had a lot of time to look around yet, but we’re going to this week. It’s beautiful, we love it. We flew into London and went to the Lake District and have just arrived here now to do this."

She added: “People are jealous as it’s much more difficult to get tickets in Canada than it was to get tickets here, and a lot of people weren’t able to go home so this is definitely the way forward. I know quite a few people who have travelled to Europe for the concert, like Paris, so it’s definitely a thing.”

Her mum, Debbie, said: “I also work with someone who went to Edinburgh for the concert which looked fun. My daughter is a huge Swiftie. I’m not as big of a fan but she managed to get us tickets as a family for this so it will be great.”

Nicole added: “I’m teaching them all about the Swiftie things, including the chants for the concert - and the bracelets as well. We’re gonna do the whole thing.”

Mother and daughter duo Laurel and Lisa Cedarblade, from Santa Cruze, California, have travelled all the way from the US to see Taylor Swift after not being able to get tickets to see the singer at home and have spent thousands to be able to see her in Cardiff. Laurel, 34, said: "We couldn't get tickets for our local show which was Santa Clara in California and so I pulled the trigger and said we should come to Cardiff.

"We'd never been to Cardiff before so it just seemed like a really cool place to come and visit, and it is - we love it. The whole trip between Airbnbs I mean it's a few thousand dollars, but it's worth it. Our friends and family thought it was cool, and a little crazy but I think everyone's been jealous."

Women smiling next to the Principality Stadium before Eras concert
Nicole Butz (left) and Debbie Butz (right) from Canada, who wanted to see Taylor Swift perform in Europe, so have come to Cardiff

Her mum, Lisa, added: "And that was a year ago, and I feel like Laurel was ahead of the game. She thought of coming here immediately. Her husband's from London and she was one of the first I think to do the 'come to Europe from the United States idea. Then it felt like everybody was starting to jump on that bandwagon.

"We took the train from Bath and we are flying out to Amsterdam after the concert from Cardiff. We'd never been to Wales and we're teachers so we have lots of time off to do this so it's great to be here. And Laurel has been a fan a long, long time.

"We went to Cardiff Castle yesterday and loved it. Before coming to Cardiff, I saw that it was kind of coastal, bay and we live on the Monterey Bay in California, and so I was kind of curious about the coastal part of it. And we watched some Netflix thing about Cardiff castle so really wanted to see that. We FaceTimed my 91-year-old mother who found the castle on Netflix yesterday and she was loving it."