When Taylor comes to town: The economic impact of the Eras Tour

Concertgoing is a serious affair, as any fan — and particularly a Taylor Swift fan — will tell you. A previous Lyft analysis found that fully 36% of Lyft-riding Eras concertgoers traveled outside their hometown for the show — more than any other fan base. But the impact of the Eras Tour can be measured not only in miles but also in dollars. 

After all, when Swifties travel to see Taylor, they don’t just go to the concert. They also stay in hotels, patronize bars, and grab food or other pre-concert needs (like glitter). The Washington Post estimates that, between tickets, travel, outfits, and lodging, the average Swift fan spent $1,300 per show. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia surmises that the singer may have generated the highest revenues for the city’s hotels since COVID-19. Indeed, the economic impact was strong enough that Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, personally tweeted at Taylor requesting a visit.

To understand precisely what happens when Taylor comes to town, Lyft conducted a study across the 20 U.S. cities where Swift performed in 2023. The main finding: When a city hosted an Eras concert, the number of total Lyft rides went up an average of 7.6%. (This analysis controls for seasonality and variation in rides across weekdays.)

chart showing Swift Effect by City
Lyft

The Swift effect

This effect was particularly pronounced in Nashville, which saw an almost 25% jump in rides on the weekend that Swift performed. (The bump is not exactly surprising, given Swift’s roots in Nashville.) A Swift Effect of 7.6% may not seem like a huge increase compared with, say, the Super Bowl (which generated a 52% increase in rides in Phoenix last year). Still, almost half of all Swift-hosting cities saw a jump of at least 10%, and 70% of them experienced a more than 5% increase.

chart showing Swift Effect By Sector
Lyft

Venues, yes— but so much more

Unsurprisingly, stadiums (75% increase) and entertainment venues (30% increase) where Swift performed saw the biggest bump in ride activity. But hotel drop-offs also increased by 27%, mass transit by 12%, restaurants by 10%, nightlife by 7%, and airports by 5%. Meanwhile, destinations that traveling Swifties were less likely to visit — such as home addresses, offices, and health care destinations — saw almost no increase in rides. 

Chart showing Swift Effect on Hotels, by City
Lyft

No vacancies

According to Lyft data, Cincinnati saw the greatest increase in hotel stays for the Eras Tour (63%), which may help explain why a room at Days Inn & Suites shot up from about $72 to $1,024 per night in that window, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. In Santa Clara (57% increase), occupancy rates ranged from 98% to 100%.

Chart showing Swift Effect on Restaurants, by City
Lyft

When Swifties make it a night out, it’s dinner before dancing

As for restaurants, Newark received the biggest increase (33%), followed by Nashville (30%).

Chart showing Swift Effect for Restaurants in Nashville
Lyft

Bringing in back home

For Swifties in Nashville, dining is not just about the food — it is also an opportunity to pay homage to restaurants that Swift frequented when she lived there, like the Pancake Pantry, and places where she played, like Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Indeed, in calculating the Swift Effect for restaurants in Nashville, one locale stands out above all others: The Bluebird Cafe — where the singer first performed at just 14 years of age — saw a 355% increase in rides when Taylor was in town.

This story was produced by Lyft and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

Provided by Stacker

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