Shropshire Star

‘A party with all your best friends’: Fans queue for Taylor Swift’s Wembley gig

Thousands of people have already descended on the national stadium as Swift prepares to kick off a run of eight dates in London.

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Taylor Swift fans Laura Robinson, 20, and Grace Arnold, 24, outside Wembley

Thousands of Taylor Swift fans have descended on Wembley ahead of her Eras Tour gig at the national stadium.

The American pop star will play three nights, starting on Friday and finishing on Sunday night, before returning in August to play five more concerts.

Fans have been arriving at the venue since the early hours on Friday, eager to soak up the atmosphere of what is set to be a memorable performance for the Shake It Off singer.

Lilly Gagata, 31, and her sister Shannie, 33, were among those already at the London stadium at 10am, travelling two hours from the Midlands despite not having a ticket for Friday’s performance.

The pair said they wanted to say they were there when Swift kicked off the run of gigs and also wanted to make sure they did not miss out on any merchandise, which may have sold out by the time they get to see the show in August.

Lilly told the PA news agency: “While we’ve got tickets for August, we wanted to come here a little bit earlier to get the merch early, because when we come here in August we expect to get here quite early.

“So, we didn’t want the hassle of going back and forth while queuing for our place and then going to the merch stand.”

Taylor Swift fans Lilly and Shannie Gagata at Wembley
Lilly and Shannie Gagata, 31 and 33, have travelled two hours despite not having tickets (Saghar Kouhesatani/PA)

Shannie said: “Of course, we want to absorb all of the energy too, the first night in London is like nothing else, so it’s not to be missed.”

The pair are planning to stay around London for the day and hope to hear some of the concert from outside.

Shannie said: “I really want to know what the surprises will be tonight, so after this we’re going to go back to central London and then around six we’ll be coming back here just to sit around and listen from outside.”

The pair have been so-called Swifties since they were 15, when they were living in the Philippines, but were unable to afford tickets at the time.

They said they were excited to see the star after “years of rooting for her”.

Taylor Swift fans arrive at Wembley Stadium in pink outfits
Fans gather outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift’s first London concert during her Eras Tour (Lucy North/PA)

Also arriving at the stadium were Lauren Robinson, 20, who had travelled from Cheshire, and her friend Grace Arnold, 24, who had travelled from the Wirral.

The pair said they knew they had to see the first night when the run of concerts was announced and were hoping for a London-themed surprise in her set.

Ms Robinson said: “Coming to the capital has got to be the best place to see the tour.”

Ms Arnold said: “We’re hoping she’ll announce Reputation or do a little secret song like London Boy.”

Ms Robinson responded: “It’s just, why wouldn’t you come here? It’s the best place to come and watch a concert really.

“I mean, look at everything London has done for it, it’s great, I don’t think you’d get that anywhere else, would you?”

The gig will be Ms Arnold’s first Swift concert but Ms Robinson has already had a taste of the Eras Tour, having seen her in Liverpool.

A Taylor Swift fan wearing a pink top and boots poses with her hands above her head forming a heart shape on the steps at Wembley, which feature an image of the singer
A fan poses on the Swiftie Steps at Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift’s first concert in London of the Eras Tour (Charlotte Coney/PA)

Ms Robinson said of the Liverpool performance: “It was absolutely crazy, I think you go in there and you are apprehensive about what it is going to be like, but everyone is so friendly.

“It’s like going to a party with all your best friends.”

Ms Arnold said she was most looking forward to the Folklore set (Swift’s eighth studio album), but said the potential surprise songs “actually make me feel sick to think about”.

The pair have been fans since childhood and said Swift’s Fearless album (her second studio album) was the first they could remember listening to.

Taylor Swift fans Bailey and Filip smiling
Swifties Bailey and Filip (Saghar Kouhesatani/PA)

Fans of the singer have also travelled from across the globe to watch Swift deliver her three-hour Eras set in London, including long-distance friends Filip, who travelled from Croatia, and Bailey, who flew all the way from Florida.

Speaking about why they had come to London, Bailey: “I can’t wait to see Taylor, this is like the best show to go to.”

Filip added: “It feels special, dazzling and magic here.”

Smiling Taylor Swift fans Rachel and Yan
Swifties Rachel and Yan (Saghar Kouhesatani/PA)

Meanwhile, friends Rachel and Yan travelled from Ipswich in Suffolk to see the show.

Rachel said: “We’re so excited to be here, I’m hoping to hear the OG (original) songs from the first album.”

Alongside wanting to hear tracks from Swift’s 2006 self-titled debut, they pair said they were particularly looking forward to hearing hits from her second 2008 album Fearless.

Doors will open at 4.30pm, before support act Paramore arrive on stage at 5.45pm, Swift will begin her set at 7.30pm.

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