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Taylor Swift in Santa Clara: Desperate fans hope for last-minute tickets outside Levi’s Stadium

Taylor Swift’s first Bay Area Eras Tour stop drew throngs of fans to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, July 28. But some devotees were left at the curb — literally.

The popularity of the singer’s two shows at the home of the 49ers, each expected to draw approximately 58,000 attendees, was evident from the moment they were announced. But the Ticketmaster debacle left many fans empty-handed, with thousands more unable to secure tickets to the shows, with some of the cheapest last-minute tickets to the Santa Clara tour stop reaching up to $1,000.

Among those who were left outside the gates were cousins Natalie and Jazmin Casapia, who made the journey to Santa Clara from Salinas and Atwater (Merced County), respectively. Despite their inability to secure tickets, the pair adorned themselves in homemade  “I <3 T.S.” shirts and glittery makeup. They even bought tour shirts from the merchandise truck. Settling outside the stadium, they said they were happy just to hear the music blasting through the stadium walls.

“I tried to (get tickets) today, and I had them in my cart, but then it kicked me out of the queue, so I was like, ‘No! ’” said Natalie.

They said they planned on staying in the parking lot the whole night to savor whatever they could of the Swift experience before heading back home. 

Sophia Siebert carries a sign looking for tickets before Taylor Swift’s concert in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, July 28, 2023.Michaela Vatcheva/Special to The Chronicle

Seattle resident Michelle Springer, another fan who found herself without a ticket, tirelessly scoured Reddit and X in a desperate bid to score a last-minute ticket. Someone at Levi’s Stadium even recognized her from her pleas on social media — but she was ultimately unsuccessful in getting in. 

Though she didn’t find a seat, Springer said she was able to secure the last coveted blue crewneck sold at the merchandise stand, and she also plans on returning to the stadium for tomorrow’s final concert in hopes that she this time she can snag a last-minute ticket.

Hannah Redhill (left) and Michelle Springer are settling in to experience Taylor Swift’s concert from the parking lot of Levi’s stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, July 28, 2023. While Redhill already has tickets for tomorrow night’s show, Springer is looking forward to another day of scouring the internet for last minute opportunities.
Hannah Redhill (left) and Michelle Springer are settling in to experience Taylor Swift’s concert from the parking lot of Levi’s stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, July 28, 2023. While Redhill already has tickets for tomorrow night’s show, Springer is looking forward to another day of scouring the internet for last minute opportunities.Michaela Vatcheva/Special to The Chronicle

“I’ve been in work meetings sitting there on my phone refreshing,” she said. “I think it’s worth it. I’m going to hear Taylor Swift one way or another.”

But not everyone in the ticketless gathering of fans outside the stadium was actually without a ticket.

Hannah Red Hill of Oakland confessed she had a ticket for Saturday’s performance but couldn’t resist experiencing the Swift “vibes” a day earlier.

“I just knew that I wanted to come and see what was going to happen before I actually come,” Red Hill said, who has a mirrorball tattoo in reference to Swift’s song of the same name. “1000% I am not leaving. If I have to be moved, I will move across the street where I can hear from over there. I’m staying here.”

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