Connect with us


Music Tour-Ism Is One Of The Biggest Travel Trends



Music Tour-Ism Is One Of The Biggest Travel Trends

When Paul, John, George and Ringo touched U.S. soil in 1964, Beatlemania swept across America. With Taylor Swift hitting the stage this summer for the European leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour, the continent sits in the midst of an all-out Taylor tantrum.

Not only is the “Shake It Off” singer taking her catalog of chart-topping hits on a 15-city jaunt, but thousands of Swifties are joining her on the ride, too, and they’re bringing their passports, sequin skirts and hefty wallets along with them.

If the European stretch of Swift’s tour is anything close to the behemoth that swept through North and South America in 2023 — between March and December of last year, Eras became the first tour in history to earn more than $1 billion — economies in places like Dublin and Warsaw are going to see seismic changes.

Zurich, Switzerland, where the megastar will perform on July 9 and 10, is another destination that should feel “the Taylor Swift Effect.” The energy around The Dolder Grand, a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property sitting just five miles from Letzigrund stadium, is already electric.

“We’re expecting 100 percent occupancy while Taylor Swift is in Zurich,” says Joachim Schweier, the hotel’s senior marketing and communications manager. “These concerts are directly impacting bookings, as fans are traveling the world to see their favorite artists. The Dolder Grand and the city of Zurich are preparing for an influx of tourism during these dates. These large events draw attention to the destinations, positively impacting the hotels, retail and restaurants in the city.”

Of course, fans following their favorite acts is far from a new phenomenon. The Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix faithful happily made the trip to a Bethel, New York, farm in 1969 for Woodstock. Folks migrate to Somerset, England, from all over Europe every year for the Glastonbury Festival. Still, the impact Swift, Beyoncé and a few other marquee names are having on travel plans today is unprecedented. The Dolder Grand room rates start at $1,940 on July 8, the day before Swift hits the stage. Prices drop to $840 once she leaves for Milan.

We all know that hotel rates fluctuate around big events. What’s less common knowledge is that festival organizers play a balancing act of staying affordable while keeping afloat. “But if we want to give these fans an ultimate experience, we can’t be the only people paying for it,” says Jason “J” Carter, founder of Dallas’ new TwoGether Land festival and Atlanta’s successful One Music Fest. Janet Jackson and Kendrick Lamar headlined the latter two-day show that welcomed roughly 100,000 music lovers in 2023. And while the 2024 lineup won’t be announced until July, anticipation is brewing. So too are rumbles about ticket prices. “It has to be a collective effort, if you want this,” Carter says. “But price sensitivity is something that we look at and take seriously.”

Still, he insists, “Janet and Kendrick ain’t cheap! These artists are getting millions of dollars, right? Their production costs millions of dollars. It’s all related. It’s all connected. That ticket price directly reflects the talent that you see on the stage and the cost to put that thing on.”

If you’re thinking about attending One Music Fest (October 26 and 27), flying to Chicago for the SZA-anchored Lollapalooza (August 1 to 4) or going to Post Malone-headlining Festival d’été de Québec in Quebec City (July 4 to 14), know that there’s a considerable investment attached. Between concert tickets, flights, hotels, food and merchandise, the U.S. Travel Association estimates the average Swiftie spreads $1,300 across local economies. But with more people craving experiential travel, many aren’t hesitating to pull out their credit cards.

Leilani Brown is one of those fans. The strategic adviser/business coach has been “chasing sound” for years, journeying from her Charleston-area home to hear Roy Ayers in Los Angeles and see The Roots perform in Philadelphia. Over that time, she’s garnered a lot of experience on the road. Whether it’s picking the right travel buddy (“Ensure that your companion is a true music lover”), scoring good seats (“VIP is essential for better seating, viewing and bathroom access”) or packing a sensible outfit (“Wear layers and bring items you don’t mind discarding”), Brown knows that things must work in harmony for the trip to be a success.

One other key for fans driving or flying to a show is a simple but often overlooked tip — embrace the experience. Just because you’ve forked over a small fortune for a wristband, that does not mean you’re obligated to watch every act. Take breaks. Pace yourself. “This is a pleasure trip, not a work trip,” Brown says. “Leave room for serendipity — eat, drink, shop and sleep as you wish.”

And that’s where posh properties such as Rhode Island’s Castle Hill Inn come in. Sitting only an eight-minute drive from Fort Adams State Park, site of the beloved Newport Folk Festival (July 26 to 28) and Newport Jazz Festival (August 2 to 4), the Four-Star hotel has welcomed music fans to its property for decades. After concertgoers watch Hozier and Killer Mike’s sets, they drop into places like the Terrace Bar and Mansion Bar because the venues keep the energy festive with craft cocktails and a local jazz trio that riffs well into the night.

“The city takes great pride in [being welcoming],” says Brian Hill, Castle Hill Inn’s managing director. “There is an influx of people over the course of the summertime. They’re all here for a really wonderful reason. For the folk festival, a lot of people tend to bike in. They’ll drop their cars at the outskirts of town and bike all the way in and just enjoy all that Newport has to offer.”

Back in Zurich, while there’s nothing Swift-specific in The Dolder Grand’s plans, the hotel is all abuzz with its 125th anniversary going on while it also celebrates the seasonal reopening of vegan restaurant Blooms. “We are expecting our dining facilities to be at high occupancy levels during this time and recommend travelers make reservations prior to their arrival in Zurich,” Schweier says. “The Dolder Grand is excited to welcome these artists and visitors to the hotel and the city.”

Swift will wrap up the European portion of the Eras Tour on August 20 in London. After that, she’ll stop by Miami, New Orleans and a few other North American cities before ending the tour in Vancouver in December. But even when Swift unplugs the mic, it won’t mean the megastar tours will stop. Billie Eilish is hitting the road this fall and winter. There’s still a possibility of Beyoncé touring for Cowboy Carter. And with rumors of Rihanna returning to the studio, we can probably expect to see the pop sensation fill up arenas again soon, too.

“Megastars like Beyoncé supercharge folks,” Carter says. “You want to get back outside. If you’ve forgotten how live music makes you feel, Beyoncé will remind you. It almost heightens the need or desire to experience connectivity with fellow music lovers and your community. You want to do it again and again. It can definitely be addictive.”

More From Forbes

Forbes2024 Summer Olympics: Your Guide To Paris’ World PartyForbesThe 30 Best Paris HotelsForbesForbes Travel Guide’s 24 Top Destinations For 2024ForbesFrom Mauritius To Montana, Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Star Award Winners

Continue Reading