Despite pleas from the stadium itself, thousands of Taylor Swift fans camped out outside Soldier Field hoping to just hear Taylor Swift’s Chicago shows as they happened.
Video captured by Chicago Today’s Matthew Rodrigues showed hundreds of ticketless fans with chairs and blankets sitting outside the venue, singing and dancing while arranging their own outdoor seating.
“We tried and tried and tried to get tickets, and earlier this week my husband said, ‘You know it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere,'” said Kelly Kennedy, 40, who brought her 8-year-old daughter. . and a friend to the grass near the stadium for the show on Friday. “You can’t be inside, but maybe you can sit outside and still be a part of the experience.”
More than 190,000 lucky Taylor Swift ticket holders over the course of three nights took over Solder Field in Chicago.
Late last week, Soldier Field announced that the venue and the area around it were at “maximum capacity” and they “strongly discouraged” fans without tickets from gathering outside the stadium during shows. In a press release, the stadium said that “no part of the show will be visible and the acoustics of the stadium do not provide any audible quality outside of it.”
But that didn’t stop fans from gathering on the grass. And for many, it worked. Some even compared it to the experience of seeing a show at the popular suburban outdoor music venue Ravinia Festival, in Highland Park.
“Taylor Swift PSA: If you were one of the unlucky ones who didn’t get tickets, there’s still hope!” read a Friday post on a suburban Chicago Facebook group. “We ran out of tickets last night after doing all things legit for days. We continued to stalk all the talk at Metra all the way to Soldier Field. Nothing. But… You can listen off the field and hear the songs so good! We were strategic with our location and honestly, it was just like Ravinia, it far exceeded my expectations.”
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The post, which received more than 200 likes, generated 53 comments, most of whom were hoping for advice on how to do the same for the Saturday and Sunday shows.
“We did the same thing on Friday!” read a comment, accompanied by a video showing dozens of fans with blankets, folding chairs and picnics outside the venue.
“Only Taylor Swift could make thousands of people turn Soldier Field into Ravinia,” read another post, followed by another comment reading “I’m 100 doing this!”
According to the comments, the biggest complaint from fans wasn’t that they couldn’t get tickets to the show. It was just that the grass outside was a bit uncomfortable to sit on.
“Still amazing,” reads one comment. “If you go I recommend you bring a blanket. The ‘grass’ is super small and gets crowded everywhere.”