Beyoncé has famously declared that girls run the world, and this summer, both she and Taylor Swift have proven that statement to be true. Both artists’ tours, Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” and Swift’s “Eras,” have become cultural phenomena, dominating social media and on track to break real-world records. Swift’s tour is projected to earn over $1 billion in sales, becoming the first concert in history to surpass that mark, while Beyoncé’s world tour is anticipated to gross even more by the time it concludes in October.
These tours are the latest installment of the “revenge spending” trend that emerged after the pandemic, where people shifted their spending from goods to experiences. Fans of both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé have spared no expense, purchasing secondhand tickets that cost more than a flight to Europe, extravagant outfits, and even matching manicures to emulate the singers’ style. While overall event spending is still recovering from pre-pandemic levels, these marquee concerts have sparked a surge in consumption.
According to QuestionPro, an estimated $4.6 billion in economic activity will be generated in North America alone from Swift’s concert. This figure takes into account ticket sales, merchandise, and travel expenses. Similarly, Beyoncé’s shows are expected to drive $4.5 billion in spending. Such high figures have caught the attention of national economic authorities, with Sweden’s statistics agency acknowledging that Beyoncé’s tour has helped fuel inflation in the country.
The impact of the concerts extends beyond ticket sales, as fans are also boosting spending in various industries. Hotels are fully booked, elaborate outfits are being purchased, and flashy manicures are in high demand. Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, California hosted a pre-party for Taylor Swift fans, where guests dressed in costumes, adorned themselves with temporary tattoos inspired by the singer, and enjoyed a signature “Lavender Haze” cocktail referencing one of her popular songs. The hotel, along with neighboring establishments, reported a surge in demand that led to higher room rates and fully booked properties.
Other businesses have also found innovative ways to capitalize on the concert frenzy. Boxie Studio in Los Angeles sells tickets that allow visitors to capture TikToks or Instagram shots in rooms resembling Taylor Swift’s music video sets. Airbnb reported that Cincinnati became its top trending destination for July 4th weekend travel due to Taylor Swift’s concert being held in the city. The concerts have stimulated consumer spending in cities like New York, where searches for lounges, aestheticians, and nail technicians leading up to Beyoncé’s performance in East Rutherford saw triple-digit percentage increases compared to the previous year.
The concert summer boom has been fueled by a strong job market, low unemployment rates, and rising wages, enabling fans to afford expensive purchases, such as tickets and luxury hotel rooms. A survey conducted for The New York Times found that roughly 50% of Taylor Swift fans used their regular income to buy concert tickets and outfits, while 9% utilized savings accumulated during the pandemic. Beyoncé fans also heavily relied on their income and spent an average of $1,800 on concert tickets.
This robust concert season has not only provided entertainment for fans but has also injected life into local tourism and various industries. The concerts have even had the potential to slightly improve the odds of a gentle cool-down instead of an abrupt halt to economic activity, as consumers remain active and continue spending during the summer months. For many fans, attending these concerts is seen as a form of revenge spending, shifting away from purchasing goods and towards investing in memorable experiences. The concerts have created a sense of unity and excitement, with fans proudly expressing their loyalty to their favorite artists and fueling a surge in spending that extends far beyond the music industry.