Vietnamese fans spend big to see Taylor Swift

By Tan Cao   March 2, 2024 | 12:53 am PT
Many Vietnamese fans have spent heavily on tickets, travel, and accommodation to attend Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concerts in Singapore.

As the March 2-4 and March 7-9 dates for Swift’s six performances at the National Stadium in Singapore draw near, fans from Vietnam have been eagerly sharing updates on their preparations for the trip on social media.

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swifft. Photo from Swifts Instagram

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swifft. Photo from Swift's Instagram

The rapid sell-out of 300,000 tickets, including VIP passes priced as high as S$1,228 (US$913), in July last year sparked a frenzy for tickets, driving up resale prices significantly.

Hoang Giang, a 36-year-old from Dong Nai Province in Southeast Vietnam, found himself paying VND16 million (US$649) for two CAT 5 tickets from a reseller, even though their original cost was only S$168.

Searching for accommodation proved to be even more startling for Giang, as he discovered most budget options in Singapore were fully booked. He ended up spending an additional VND20 million for lodging a week prior to the concert.

"The trip’s total cost has surpassed VND50 million for me, not accounting for extra expenses," Giang said. "The cost could have doubled had I opted for VIP tickets. But the excitement to see my idol perform is making it worth it."

He noted that prices for every service in Singapore would be considerably higher during the concert period, posing challenges for attendees like himself who had made last-minute plans.

Aside from ticket and accommodation expenses, travel costs also posed a significant burden for concert-goers. Airfare to Singapore during the concert period was listed between VND6-15 million for a one-way ticket on various airlines’ websites, but fans were still prepared to pay to see their hero.

Thai Chau, a 22-year-old from Ho Chi Minh City, is looking forward to experiencing the concert on Mar. 9 with two friends, all of whom secured tickets during the initial sale. He managed to book his flight and accommodation immediately after getting the tickets, avoiding any additional costs or price hikes.

"Even so, I’ve already spent over VND20 million on this journey," he said.

To alleviate financial strain, many fans have been economizing by eliminating unnecessary expenses. Bao Tran, 30, from Ho Chi Minh City, plans to attend the final show on Mar. 9. She intends to fly to Singapore on the day of the concert, go directly to the stadium upon arrival, and then spend the night at the airport after the concert, before catching an early flight back home the following day.

"My main goal is to see Taylor live," Tran explained. "I’ve managed to keep my expenses down to VND10 million, which covers the concert ticket, travel, and food."

She added that she plans to carry only essentials like some cash, a toothbrush, and a light blanket.

Tam Nguyen, 31, and his friends at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, preparing to depart for Singapore on Mar. 2, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Tan Cao

Tam Nguyen, 31, and his friends at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, preparing to depart for Singapore on Mar. 2, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Tan Cao

Huy Hoang, 25, also from Ho Chi Minh City, opted for a more economical route by flying to Malaysia and then traveling to Singapore by train or bus, effectively cutting his travel expenses in half compared to a direct flight from Vietnam.

VnExpress journalists observed that many are also seeking cost-saving measures by coordinating with others to share accommodation and commuting expenses. Bao Tran suggests that joining social media groups for this purpose can be particularly useful for solo travelers or those attending an overseas concert for the first time, advising thorough checks on fellow travelers’ backgrounds for safety.

Despite recommendations from seasoned concert-goers to opt for simple attire like T-shirts and flat shoes for comfort during the large-scale event (expected attract nearly 55,000 fans), many Vietnamese also plan to invest in their concert outfits to showcase their culture and personal style.

Discussions in various groups include plans to bring traditional Vietnamese attire such as conical hats and ao dai, a two-piece Vietnamese outfit that consists of a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over trousers.

Many have shared their plans to wear outfits inspired by Swift’s album themes or replicas of her iconic costumes, complete with handmade accessories and symbolic items like guitars, the number 1989, a snake, or lyrics on their outfits as well.

Tam Nguyens suitcase for his journey to Singapore is packed with Taylor Swift-related merchandise. Photo courtesy of Tam Nguyen

Tam Nguyen's suitcase for his journey to Singapore is packed with Taylor Swift-related merchandise. Photo courtesy of Tam Nguyen

Thai Chau is preparing a predominantly black ensemble with sparkling accessories ordered from abroad. He said he would keep his outfit choices "moderate" after learning about the organizers’ dress code, which prohibits bulky accessories that might obstruct others’ views.

Swift, 35, gained initial fame with her folksy country music, but later ventured into pop. She has released 14 albums over her career, including four re-recordings known as Taylor’s Version. Her net worth reached US$1.1 billion following the success of "The Eras Tour" in 2023, according to Forbes.

Time magazine named her "Person of the Year" for 2023.

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