Madrid prepares for Taylor Swift’s first night at the Santiago Bernabéu

Madrid prepares for Taylor Swift’s first night at the Santiago Bernabéu
Madrid prepares for Taylor Swift’s first night at the Santiago Bernabéu

(File photo taken in Sweden, Stockholm) Taylor Swift visits the Spanish capital in the middle of her world tour ‘The Eras Tour’.EFE/EPA/Christine Olsson

Photo: EFE – Christine Olsson

Madrid is preparing for the first of the two concerts that Taylor Swift will offer tomorrow at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, in whose vicinity there are still no large campers but there are queues to obtain some official merchandise from the North American singer in the official Real Madrid store.

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The media expectation does not seem to have transferred for the moment to the physical place where in 24 hours the North American artist, who is coming to full houses in Portugal, will appear before her fervent followers, although some of them will already spend the night there.

A stream of ‘swifties’ with plastic bags from ‘The Eras Tour’ was already passing through the surroundings of the stadium today, although in the streets the afternoon has developed completely normally and without crowds, perhaps due to the works that still maintain fencing part of the perimeter.

Expressions of nervousness and a certain anxiety filled the faces of the fans who came to purchase official items from the tour, with t-shirts, prints, sweatshirts, bracelets, and even hats, at an extensive and well-managed counter that was barely able to satisfy the demand. There was a sense of suppressed excitement among the fans who came to make their purchases.

Marta and David expected that there would be a line from today to enter the venue on Wednesday, although, really, their goal was a pair of t-shirts. “We are very nervous,” they told EFE, sheltered in the shade of a tree in a Madrid that was already registering almost 30 degrees on the thermometer, where they “count the hours” for the concert, in their case, next Thursday.

Daniela comes from Venezuela and waits in line in the bright sun to obtain an item. “Excited,” she comments that she is impatient after “a year of waiting.” Marcos, for his part, accompanies his 12-year-old daughter, Adriana, to visit the store, although without entry.

While waiting, the imminent customers greeted the television crews stationed along the streets surrounding the Madrid stadium, and a girl with a banner in English with the phrase ‘Taylor, this is my first concert’ walked around with her mother.

On the only street near the stadium where it was possible to take shelter from the sun and the construction, there was total calm as the afternoon fell. Just a couple of Madrid Municipal Police patrol cars and an ambulance from the emergency service patrolled the roads, always with the traffic of ‘swifties’ returning home with their purchases.

The billboards pile up at the entrances to the Bernabéu, in an area that will surely have a very different atmosphere tomorrow, on the first of Taylor Swift’s two days in Madrid, where a total of 130,000 attendees will see her between the two days, with tickets sold out practically from the moment of launch.

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The Taylor Swift effect on Madrid tourism

The latest data from the Amadeus platform indicates that hotel reservations in Madrid for these two days have reached 70 percent, an increase compared to the same dates last year, when 45 and 52 percent were recorded for the 29th and May 30.

Hostelería Madrid’s estimate indicates that the concerts will have an impact of 20 million euros between the spending of local attendees and tourists who will visit and spend the night in Madrid for the singer’s performance.

The announcement of Swift’s concerts also had a significant impact on search volumes for domestic and international flights to Madrid, with weekly growth of 44%. Those attending the concert and those who, even without a ticket, have arrived in the city, will fill the surroundings of the Bernabéu and the City Council and the Community of Madrid have planned a special transport and security plan.

The Community will reinforce the metro and bus lines that give access to the stadium area and the surrounding streets will be closed to traffic.

An area in which 200 agents from the National Police and another 200 from the Municipal Police will be deployed each of the two days. They will be joined by security guards for access, a task in which members of the singer’s private security team will also collaborate.

The Police will also be in charge of guarding the artist’s entourage from their landing in Barajas around 2:30 pm until their arrival at the Villa Magna hotel, where they will stay. And to monitor the two ‘fan zones’ (areas for fans) that have been installed in front of the stadium and in a nearby area, which are two tents that have bathrooms and sales of the singer’s merchandising.

The stores are where the largest crowds of fans have so far gathered to purchase all kinds of objects with the singer’s image, with prices ranging from 20 euros for a bracelet to 80 euros for a sweatshirt.

Although fans are already beginning to arrive around the stadium – they are mainly girls – who are waiting sitting on the sidewalks for the opening of the stadium doors, which will be at 4:30 pm, although Swift’s concert will not start until 8 :00 pm

To deal with any eventuality and although healthcare depends on the organizer of the event, the municipal emergency service, Samur-Civil Protection, has reinforced its staff with 50 more healthcare workers and will deploy eight ambulances.

Everything seems insufficient to face the avalanche of people who will come to the stadium, with or without a ticket, to enjoy the music of today’s most followed singer.

Because, according to the neighbors, outside the stadium, the level of music is so high that you can hear the songs perfectly. The noise generated by the concerts “exceeds imaginable limits” and in the five held to date at the Bernabéu, levels close to 100 decibels have been reached.

So much so that all the concerts held so far in the renovated stadium have resulted in complaint bulletins for the promoters for having failed to comply with the noise levels established in the regulations.

A revolution in every sense caused by the return to Madrid of Taylor Swift 13 years after a first performance in which she barely brought together 4,000 people. But since then the singer has become the undisputed queen of the box office and the media.

The singer will offer a concert lasting more than three hours, with several costume changes and about 45 songs, which fans will be able to sing both inside and outside the stadium.

Also read: This was J Balvin’s first concert in Spain in the middle of his new tour

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