MELBOURNE NEWS

Economy

Long live the magic we made. Melbourne is home to Taylor Swift’s biggest ever concerts

14 February 2024

Sparks flew when more 288,000 local, interstate and international Swifties flocked to the city to enjoy the Eras Tour and we embraced all the glitter and glam of Swiftmania with open arms.  

We were thrilled to host three out of Taylor Swift’s seven shows, one of only two stops the superstar made in Australia – and the largest concert of her stellar career so far. 

Big reputations like Taylor’s bring big crowds, with periods of increased night-time spending across the city coinciding with major events such as concerts. And this time it was even bigger than we could have imagined.

The Melbourne city skyline at sunset
Gorgeous Melbourne was all glammed up and ready for Swiftmania

Swiftenomics 

Melbourne now holds the record for Taylor Swift’s biggest crowds of the Era’s Tour – making these concerts her biggest ever.

There were 96,000 adoring fans with tickets at each of the three concerts bringing total attendance to 288,000 and leaving Taylor Swift in tears with amazement and gratitude.

We saw the whole city shimmer. Pedestrian traffic was 61 times higher at night at Birrarung Marr on Saturday February 17, than it was the week before, as devoted Swifties came into the city to see the superstar sing the classics.

Activity from Friday 16 February to Sunday 18 February for city sensors was the highest February weekend recorded and the 10th highest weekend overall since the beginning of 2019.

Yarra Park was also buzzing with fans ‘Taylorgating’ to catch a glimpse of the action and join sing-a-longs and parties surrounding the MCG.

Hotel occupancy was at 88 per cent across Melbourne’s 35,000 hotel rooms and 54 new hotels, as thousands of fans descended on the city to enjoy the Eras tour and explore our world-class shopping, dining and experiences. 

Gig tripping is where fans travel to see their favourite performers, staying at nearby hotels and Airbnbs. It’s becoming increasingly popular as Melbourne hosts the biggest and brightest stars. 

Florencia Aimo, Marriott International’s director of marketing for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, told The Age prior to the concerts that there is “incredible demand” for rooms at the company’s Melbourne hotels coinciding with the Taylor Swift concerts.  

“All of our hotels are really excited that Taylor Swift is coming from a business perspective and on a personal level also because [we are] fans of hers. These types of events that drive so much demand and interest are really welcomed by the hospitality industry.” 

Apartments and Airbnb properties were also snapped up in what’s being called The Swift Effect.  

In The Age, Susan Wheeldon, country manager for Airbnb in Australia, said there was increasing demand for accommodation near the MCG.

“We call it ‘Tay Tay tourism’… if they could get a ticket to any city, Sydney or Melbourne, they’ve flown in for it.”

 

Luxe surrounds at Lancemore Crossley St, one of Melbourne’s many stylish hotels

Wheeldon also said that many Victorian fans made a weekend of the show by booking an overnight stay.  

“It’s a three-hour concert, it’s a long day. They’re just choosing to stay nearby.” 

More people staying in the city means great things for local businesses, eateries and retailers.

Andrew Wear, City Economist and Director of Economic Development and International at City of Melbourne said Council recognises the benefits major events bring to the city in driving visitation and boost spending. 

“Big events such as Taylor Swift drive an enormous amount of consumer spending, benefiting the city’s retailers, restaurants and accommodation providers.

“When Ed Sheeran played at the MCG last year, consumer spending across the city was up 24 per cent on 2019 levels, and I anticipate a similar impact for Taylor Swift.” 

Swifties made the most of magical Melbourne before heading to the show

Swiftie things to do while you’re in town

There are so many ways to keep the post-show buzz going in the city.  

The Best Day 

Record yourself singing your favourite Taylor Swift song in the new sound studios at narrm ngarrgu Library in the heart of the Queen Victoria Market. Or if you can’t pick just one, a whole album!  

Get creative at narrm ngarrgu then relax on the rooftop terrace while admiring the stunning city skyline

Bejeweled

Loved making bright, beautiful friendship bracelets with your friends? Get your concert buddies together and take it one step further in our makerspaces. Be inspired and get creative with 3D printers, laser cutters, paint booths and sewing machines. 

Today was a Fairytale  

Reminisce and swap concert notes in stylish surrounds at one of our best and brightest rooftop restaurants or head to a waterfront eatery for delicious drinks and nibbles with a glittering view.

Two colourful cocktails at Riverland Bar.
Cheers to being A Lucky One who saw Tay Tay in concert

Swift success for Melbourne

As the events and culture capital of Australia, Melbourne continues to attract international megastar headliners like Taylor Swift, with fans looking to make the most of their time in the city and spend up big.  

Data from our recent Melbourne Economy Snapshot shows that popular night-time events and big drawcards entice crowds into the city during the day to shop, dine and enjoy all that’s on offer, before they head to the main event at night – and that’s great news for traders.

Andrew said we know an exciting events calendar provides city businesses with a huge boost – pumping millions into the local economy. 

“Events such as these also have a longer-term impact, as they underpin confidence in the city and generate economic momentum. Taylor’s tour further cements Melbourne’s reputation as one of the world’s great cities, capable of hosting the largest concert of her career.

“Successful modern economies rely on the attraction of talented people, and Taylor’s tour will reinforce Melbourne’s position as a place that talented people want to spend time in.” 

The crowds in the stands went wild at the MCG in East Melbourne

Our business and events teams make Melbourne the place to be for international acts and bring the buzz with epic attractions including sports, events, festivals and unmissable shows.  

Last year, more than 4.6 million people came to the city to enjoy 64 Council-run or supported events – pumping $152 million into the economy.  

City of Melbourne also delivered more than $2.4 million in grants to support local business owners to help them bring their ideas to life.  

Outdoor dining during the popular Antipodes Festival

The recently established City Economy Advisory Committee comprising experts from Melbourne’s renowned retail and hospitality industries is helping to turbocharge the city’s daytime economy, attract more people to the city and identify new opportunities for growth.  

These strategies will give traders stability in a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour thriving city and create more business, visitation and vibrancy across Melbourne. 

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14 February 2024
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