Swiftie fever has taken over Buenos Aires. After so much waiting, the moment is finally here – loyal fans who have spent years pleading with Taylor Swift to play in Argentina are making the final preparations for the night they’ve anxiously awaited seemingly all their lives.
Swift, the 33-year-old megastar who is breaking box-office records with her world tour, plays River Plate’s Monumental stadium on Thursday evening for the first of three shows.
The iconic venue, which has a capacity of around 75,000 spectators, will only be a temporary home for Swift. But for some of the singer-songwriter’s biggest fans, the relationship has been a little longer – the most dedicated have been camping outside for months, reserving their place in the entry queue and ensuring they can get to the front when gig day arrives.
“My friends that have been fans for about a decade introduced me to Taylor,” explains Maia, a 25-year-old medicine student from Zona Norte who camped out.
She’s a relatively new Swiftie, but her love runs deep. “I’ve only been a fan of hers for about a year and a half, but I became a really big fan!”
Maia and various other girls set up their tents five months ago. Before they even acquired tickets, the girls set up their tents with hopes of securing their barricade spots. Some 2.5 million people attempted to get tickets to see Swift’s three shows in Buenos Aires.
“We began camping two days before the tickets were announced,” Maia told the Times. “There were rumours going around that they were going to be released, and we wanted to be first.”
Once the shows were confirmed, groups quickly spread across social media, via Twitter and WhatsApp. Each happy camper enters a shared Excel spreadsheet and notes when and when they can’t be present.
“There’s approximately 30 of us that make up the tent I'm a part of, and we take turns,” Maia details. With a very organised system in place, the fans individually pick up “shifts” inside the tent to hold their spot. “We have an Excel sheet where we’re all organised and we are continuously rotating,” she explains.
“And yes, we do sleep here and everything!”
Braving the elements
Equipped with mattresses and an endless supply of friendship bracelets (a Swifie phenomenon), the fearless swiftie porteñas have been enduring the dangers that come with camping out in the streets. But even though they’ve met with inclement weather, cold midnights and lots of judgement from passersby outside the stadium, you cannot convince any of them it isn’t worth it.
To Maia and many others, Taylor’s arrival is a historic moment. Many of the campers are so excited by the star’s arrival to Argentina that they did everything possible to score tickets to all three of this weekend’s shows.
So how do they feel now the moment is finally here?
“Lots of joy, lots of eagerness, lots of nerves,” shrieks Barbie, a 22-year-old economics student.
“We’ve been waiting for her for many, many years,” she says. “It’s such a huge excitement that this is her first time here, and having the opportunity to see her – there’s no feeling like it!”
To the fans, the experience amounts to something much greater than just being close to the stage. There’s an undeniable level of kinship that’s been formed amongst the girls in the tents, and it’s likely the fuel that keeps them all going.
“This is about being with people you love, and indulging in the appreciation we all share for this one person. Getting to share this moment with people who truly want to live this experience is something very beautiful,” nods Barbie.
Be it obsession, be it unwavering loyalty – one thing’s for sure: these dedicated Swifties are upholding Argentina’s reputation for housing some of the most passionate fans in the world.