Joe’s Guide to Taking “Your Child*” to Taylor Swift
*Children come in all sorts of packages. Some are tall, a few are on the shrimpy side, and others are fully grown adults who just want to live out their Wildest Dreams without ruining their reputations at a Taylor Swift concert. If you know one, let them borrow your Swift-ticketed child. If you are one… no last names, okay?
Tickets for Taylor Swift’s Era tour in Australia went on sale on June 30th. If you weren’t swift enough to snatch them up within three hours, and those were down to the nosebleed seats behind the columns, you were shazam outta luck. Those tickets sold out like Bunnings sausages on a sunny afternoon.
If you emerged victorious, leaving thousands of teenaged girls distraught and broken in your wake, then dust off your anti-hero guilt and begin to carve out a Taylor-made experience to remember in the cruel summer of February 2024. For the children. All for the children.
Karma Get It! A Night To Remember, Or Just Forget It
The MCG and Accor Stadium in Sydney will transform into pulsing, heart-beating fandoms of Swifties singing – or, ironically, screaming – along to “You Need To Calm Down”. It’s the perfect mantra for the brave men and women who are serving their country proudly as Swifty chaperones, keeping the underaged attendees safe and sound as they engage in idolatry of the highest order. And she is a doll, right? That silky voice, that spunky energy? Garn. Admit it.
Happy chaperone or hapless conscript, or one masquerading as the other, let’s get real: since you’re going to be there anyway, I can give you some pointers that’ll make the Eras tour a magical experience to remember. You know, for your kid. Somebody has to do it. Let’s step into this brave new world together.
The rules are clear: bring a clear bag
Let’s start with a patently practical and it’ll be all uphill from here.
No one ever made a fashion statement with a Ziploc or clear cosmetics bags hanging from a strap around their wrists or torsos, but when it’s a stadium full of excitable concert-goers sporting the look, then you’re all transparently in it together.
It’s not a suggestion. Far be it for me to hand down Tay-Tay fashion advice (as authoritative as it may be). It’s just the rules of entry. Taylor’s shows have a policy of see-through bags only. Anything plastic, vinyl, or PVC will do, as long as it fits within the range of 30cm x 15cm x 30cm. But, really, using a zipper bag to carry your bare-bones belongings isn’t such a bad idea.
Here’s what we know: all bags will be inspected. So whatever unmentionables you usually carry in deep crevices and side pockets of your preferred portable receptacle, where things go to die in darkness, maybe spare them this outing.
Make Friendship Bracelets
Yep, you heard that right. Tap back into your primary school arts class and thread a string through a lineup of beads. The kids with luurrrve you for it. Especially if you learn some lyrics.
Friendship bracelets are a tradition for Swift shows, according to my diligent research. Fans took Tay’s advice to heart in her song You’re on Your Own, Kid, in which she said, “So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it”. Go on. It could be delicious.
Escape to the Food Stalls
Music too much for ya? Your feet hurt from standing for too long? Take a break and get some chow.
The food stalls are a lifesaver when you’d rather clench your teeth over a wilted snag instead of over someone else’s kid stepping on your feet. Or worse, your own kid cutting off the blood supply to your neck as they sit on your shoulders for a better view. Oh yeah, don’t forget to bring them with you. You wouldn’t want to lose them in the crowd. Which brings me to my next point, and your next safe space.
Check Out the Stadium
The MCG and Accor Stadium are decent sites to behold on their own, even without the spectacle of smoke and lights. If the kids are visibly distancing from you and you’re cramping their style, take a walk around and see what’s happening.
Just don’t try to be too “fun” and turn your sightseeing tour into a game of Talk To All The Kids, else you’ll very quickly be playing a game of “interrogate and apprehend” for either reckless endangerment or just for being a plain old weirdo. That’s a reputation nobody needs.
Prepare for Selfies
For once, you are free to take as many selfies as your heart desires without any of the self-inflicted embarrassment. No one’s going to judge you at a Taylor Swift show. Scout’s honour.
You can jazz it up as much as you like. Aim to outdo and replace the triple-chin selfies where your camera accidentally goes off as you’re trying to unlock your phone. Try to get your kid in a few of them, too. We wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.
Memorise Some Lyrics
Ahhh, come on. Surely you know a few? There’s that one that goes “Hit me baby one more time!” Right? Did I nail it?
Anyway, you still have a few months to learn some lines. This is a time to fit in and join the crowd. You’ll likely find yourself making accidental eye contact with a crazed superfan in your near vicinity. Don’t make it weird. Try to sing along. If you don’t know the words, just move your mouth around to the lyrics of “What’s My Age Again” by Blink 182. No one will know the difference.
Early Birds Get the Merch, Smart Birds Get it Online
That’s not just my inner curmudgeon calling out. Them kids and their damn loud music! Not a chance. I saw AC/DC and I’m still here to say “huh?” But whoever said going to 120-decibel live concerts without earplugs clearly never had tinnitus. But they probably will soon.
Taylor’s concerts are loud. Your eardrums will be played like a thrash metal kit. Protect them with the squishy packaged earplugs from the pharmacy. Or, if you’re really out to make a statement, you’ll roll up a few squares of toilet paper from the restroom. Be sure to leave long white TP extremities pointing out. That’s how you impress your kid.
Joe Fortune Pokies to Complete the Show
Three hour shows: Oppenheimer. Cool. Django Unchained. Bring it! Titanic… despite the sinking feeling, at least we’re all sitting down, right? Try to find a bum-on-seat during this night of nights and it’ll be one defeated, tired, sagging bottom that was wishing it had handballed its ticket to a more astute chaperone like yourself. Little would its owner – or anyone – know, the driving force behind your stamina was my auto-spin feature at Joe Fortune Casino on your mobile phone inside your jacket pocket. Maybe it’s the driving force behind Ms Swift’s stage stamina, too?