Social media exploded on Wednesday as Taylor Swift touched down at Ezeiza International Airport ahead of three shows in Buenos Aires.
Thursday officially marked the beginning of the US pop star's highly anticipated set of Eras Tour shows here in the capital. With a capacity of around 75,000, River Plate's Monumental stadium will house more than 220,000 Swifties for three sold-out nights starting Thursday.
Given the rarity of her visit, fans from all around South America have flown into the the Argentine capital for the tour, which also stops in Brazil.
With hopes of minimising overcrowded lines on concert days, merch presale began on Monday. Buzzing fans lined up around the iconic River Plate Stadium as they waited to take home hoodies, tote bags, and posters. Construction workers whistled to the tune of “Shake It Off” as they spectated from the sidelines and some lucky fans were even able to hear parts of Swift's soundcheck.
Seventeen-year-old Julieta travelled more than 1,400 kilometres to Buenos Aires from Santiago, Chile to watch her favourite singer.
“When I found out she was coming to Latin America, but not Chile, I said 'No – I have to go either way!' I don’t care where. I had to find tickets however possible,” she said. “I asked my entire family to use any and every device they had the day they were going on sale.”
“It was so stressful,” added her mother, Joyce, with a smile. “Out of all the iPads and mobile phones and computers that we tried with, we only got one that advanced in the line, and we bought four tickets. It was so exciting knowing we finally did it!”
Lifelong fan Rafaela, 23, got tickets for her and her friends in Ecuador relatively quickly. “I manifested it from the beginning. I woke up and just kept repeating to myself, I’m gonna get them, I’m gonna get them – and I did!”
“The ticket was pretty cheap for us, since Ecuador operates in dollars,” commented her friend Valentina, 22. “Our flight was extremely expensive though. We paid around US$900.”
Valentina and her friend came from Guayaquil, while Rafaela is a university student in Buenos Aires.
Accustomed to the Argentine economy, Rafaela said the official merchandise – ranging from 15,000 pesos for a poster to 60,000 pesos for a hoodie – is very expensive, priced at around the same amount as a ticket to the concert.
“If you live here, and you earn and spend in pesos, buying a t-shirt for 28,000 is way too much. Especially when you can buy it with street vendors for… nothing,” she reflected.
However, Jimena, 27, thinks the prices are justifiable. Her crew flew in from Lima, Peru on Tuesday. “We see it as a once in a lifetime experience. Right now, with everything we’ve gone through to get here, it’s worth it.”
“I think, like, half of Lima is coming here for the concert,” she said. “We’re super excited. We’ve just been counting down the days since we bought the tickets. It’s truly a collective joy.”
This will be Swift’s first-ever performance in Argentina, and the initial stop of a few dates in South America. Swiftie fever will travel to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo for the rest of November’s six shows.
As school buses drove past the stadium, supporters cheered on from their windows. The line moved quickly and efficiently, with workers proving they were prepared for any Swiftie madness headed their way.
Fans walked away from the stands with full bags and even fuller hearts, ready to take on The Eras Tour.