'Eras' 101: Everything That You Need to Know About Taylor Swift's Australian Tour (and How to Cope If You're Not Going)

From what to wear to whether it's as sensational as you've heard (it is) — and how to have the 'Eras' experience at home — we've got the full Swiftie rundown.
Sarah Ward, Andrew Zuccala and Ben Hansen
February 19, 2024

There's no need to shake off that Swiftmania, Australia. The world's biggest pop star right now has hit the country, unleashed the first three nights of the Aussie leg of her Eras tour, broken records and given everyone an enchanted time. There's no way that you could not know that Taylor Swift has arrived Down Under, with Melbourne her first stop. That trio of initial gigs even means that she makes more appearances at the MCG in 2024 than most AFL teams, in fact.

So, you went along and it was gorgeous, and you're still keen to get your Swiftie on. Or, you're hitting the Sydney concerts at Accor Stadium from Friday, February 23–Monday, February 26 and want to get the full lowdown. Missed out completely? Eager to figure out how to cope? We can help you with that as well.

We were lucky enough to hit up an Eras show in Melbourne, so we have the details. We've outlined logistical tips if you're watching Swift's three-hour spectacular in Sydney, too — plus Swift-related events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. And yes, the Eras concert film will help fill that blank space in your calendar.

Here's our Australian Eras tour 101:

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The Show (and Yes, It's as Sensational as You've Heard)

Before even getting to the show, most fans have memorised the setlist, seen most of the performances on social media and created perfect recreations of Swift's Eras tour costumes. They know what's to come. But are they ready for it? Absolutely not.

From the moment that Swift enters the stage — emerging from the giant flower petals that everyone has seen in countless videos of already — the MCG loses its shit. It's the feeling of being a part of the international tour that's been obsessed over for so many months that draws up the excitement. We don't need to be surprised. We just want to be a part of these legendary moments.

Swift doesn't disappoint, on any level, for none of the three-hour show packed with hits. She runs through each of her albums, spanning 18 years of music, ticking off the bangers as the crowd screams the lyrics along with her — no matter what era they come from. She doesn't lose breath or miss a beat for a moment. She's done this show god knows how many times now and knows exactly what she's doing. She's a total pro.

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But while Swift soars in her most upbeat hits, the more-emotional ballads show her real vulnerability. The walls seem to really come down for a few moments. This is best seen in her ten-minute version of 'All Too Well', captivating the audience for the entire song while it's just her on stage with a guitar in a stunning red-and-black sequinned coat. She gets visibly angry, is particularly pointed with some harsh lyrics and takes the audience with her on the journey of hating the celeb we all know this song is about.

From start to finish, Swift repeatedly reminds you why she is an icon — and that she's got plenty of more eras to come. Let's just hope that she brings them back Down Under to smash some more records and give us another (or first) chance to see her IRL.

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Tips to Help Make Hitting the Gigs as Gorgeous as Possible

When it comes to the kit you'll be wearing, most Swifties go down one of two routes. You can sequin the house down and be inspired by her tour looks, or try to recreate one of her iconic music-video ensembles. Glitter is almost a must, even if it covers your bathroom at home for months afterwards.

And friendship bracelets. You've got to invest in some if you want to participate in those sweet community feels at the concert, when everyone is swapping bracelets with one another, sharing their excitement for what's to come. It couldn't be more wholesome.

While heels might go with your outfit, flats are probably the smartest choice. Everyone gets a seat, but you'll be standing and dancing for over three hours. Everyone in the crowd tries to sit down in between eras when the stage gets changed over and Swift quickly swaps into a new outfit, but it's not enough to save your poor feet (especially as there isn't that much time between albums).

Beyond that, be sure to bring a portable battery for your phone. Even if you say you won't take videos, you likely will. And there are plenty of times during the night when fans turn on their camera lights and sway along to the slow jams. For most of us, this will kill our batteries in an hour.

Ronald Woan via Wikimedia Commons.

If you're heading to one of the four Sydney shows, it's time to start planning your journey. Gates open at 4.30pm, and everyone has assigned seating, so there's no need to camp out overnight to secure the best spot. The show will kick off around 6.20pm, with Sabrina Carpenter handling opening duties. Get down early to see what she rhymes with Sydney during her iconic 'Nonsense' outros.

While there is car parking available, it's almost fully booked up already, so public transport is the optimal option for heading in. Travel on PT is included in your ticket, and both express trains and major event buses are running each night to deal with the masses of Swifties making the pilgrimage to Sydney Olympic Park.  If you're attending on the Friday or Saturday, leave yourself some extra time — Blink-182 is performing at Qudos Bank Arena on both these days, so there will be two lots of music lovers travelling to the same spot.

Everyone's journey in will be a little different, of course, but if you head to Central, Redfern or Strathfield Station, you'll be able to get a direct train. While there are a couple of spots to eat near Accor Stadium, it's not exactly a cornucopia of food and drinks. Consider hitting up a venue near one of these key stations for an early dinner or a couple of celebratory cocktails.

City Oltra is a perfect pitstop for a few slices of some of the city's best pizza and a glass of orange wine just metres from Central Station. If mimosas on a rooftop are more of the vibe, consider stopping over at The Old Clare Hotel.

As for Redfern, The Sunshine Inn, RaRa Ramen, Redbird and BrewDog are all stellar options for a pre-gig feed. Or, if you're just after a few top-notch drinks, Arcadia Liquors always does the trick.

Plus, Strathfield is filled with plenty of standout dining options. Our picks for a cheap and cheerful meal: Korean fried chicken and a bottle of soju from the no-frills CC Train, or a big brothy bowl from Hansang.

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Not Going? How to Play Along Elsewhere

Look what you made Australia do, Swifties: put on Taylor Swift-themed festivities everywhere and anywhere, to prolong the lavender haze swirling not just around Melbourne and Sydney, but Brisbane as well. From candlelight tributes and colourful cocktails to painting pottery and showing off your knowledge of Swift trivia, you have options.

Sydney:

Sydney well and truly has Swift fever, so if you're a Lover lover but you're not heading to Accor Stadium, there are plenty of Taylor-themed events happening all across the Harbour City.

There's Taylor Swift bottomless brunch at both Harry's by Giuls and Above 319, Eras-themed doughnuts at Miss Sina, and limited-edition cocktails at Moxy Sydney and Alibi Bar and Dining.

Crown Sydney is hosting a Swiftie High Tea at Teahouse until Sunday, February 25. The extravagant afternoon activity features a lineup of sweet treats representing some of Swift's most beloved albums — like the 1989, a lavender ganache with yuzu and almond streusel — as well as some savoury mouthfuls like whisky teriyaki wagyu and Sichuan miso-baked toothfish.

People dancing to Electric Field's show at Oxford Art Factory for Great Southern Nights

If you want to flex your knowledge, Taylor Swift Trivia is popping up across Western Sydney, including Guildford on Sunday, February 25 and Penrith on Wednesday, February 28.

The Argyle is getting in on the action with a Taylor Rave on Thursday, February 22 and, if you think you'll be full of energy after the show and you're looking to kick on with some more big TS sing-alongs, Oxford Art Factory is hosting a series of unofficial afterparties on the nights of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows.

Paolo Villanueva via Wikimedia Commons.

Melbourne:

While most of the Taylor Swift-themed parties and events in Melbourne took place just before or during her time in the city, there is one way to still join in the fun in the week following: Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift.

The hour-long concert features Swift's music played by a string quartet. It's running at Collingwood Town Hall on Saturday, February 24 at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The moody candlelit performance is a brilliant chaser for any Swiftie who went to the shows, or even those who couldn't nab the hotly fought-over tickets.

Brisbane:

Every Brisbane Swiftie, and most Brisbanites in general, is well aware that T-Swift isn't bringing Eras to the Queensland capital. To commiserate, you can calm down in a number of ways — including at Fritzenberger South Bank's Swift-themed trivia night on Wednesday, February 21, then at a tribute party on Saturday, February 24 at Fortitude Valley's The Sound Garden, where a DJ will be spinning all the requisite tunes.

Also on Saturday, February 24, head to Clontarf's The Craft Haven to make and paint Taylor Swift-inspired pottery. Then, on Sunday, February 25, Fluffy is taking its cues from the singer back in Fortitude Valley.

And, come March and April, Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift will help you embrace your Swift love story at Grand on Ann, too.

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How to Enjoy Eras Whenever You Want

Back in October 2023, singing and dancing along to the Eras tour without actually attending the Eras tour became possible. That's when Swift released concert film Taylor Swift: The 'Eras' Tour, which took in over $260 million at the worldwide box office when it hit the big screen. It also got everyone excited when it arrived on digital. Its next stop, if you're ready for it: Disney+ from Friday, March 15, complete with five extra tunes — 'cardigan' and four acoustic tracks — that haven't featured in other versions of the movie.

You don't need to be a Swiftie to enjoy the film. In fact, watching it might turn you into one no matter how you feel about the pop superstar going in. There's no denying that the singer knows how to put on a helluva show — and the cinematography on display, plus the energetic direction by Sam Wrench (Billie Eilish Live at the O2), gives viewers an intimate experience across 169 minutes while also stressing how massive the Eras tour gigs are.

The feature was shot over three concerts at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium in August 2023 — so, not at Swift's largest-ever gigs of her entire career at the MCG across Friday, February 16–Sunday, February 18, 2024 — and everything about it is dazzling. That includes the costume changes, choreography and setlist, and the fact that the tour and the film both exist as an ode to Swift's knack for reinvention.

Check out the trailer for Taylor Swift: The 'Eras' Tour Concert Film below:

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Taylor Swift's Eras Tour plays Australia until Monday, February 26. Head to the tour website for further details.

Taylor Swift: The 'Eras' Tour will stream via Disney+ from Friday, March 15, 2024. Read our review.

Taylor Swift Australian Eras tour images: TAS Rights Management.

Published on February 19, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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