ENTERTAINMENT

Swifties from across the globe descend on Liverpool

Taylor Swift

Swifties from across the world are descending on Liverpool as it transforms into Taylor Town ahead of a run of gigs.

Swifties from across the world are descending on Liverpool as it transforms into Taylor Town ahead of a run of gigs.

Taylor Swift will perform to sell-out crowds at Anfield Stadium on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and her “magic” has come to Merseyside early with the Taylor Town Trail, a series of 11 artworks representing her albums which have been on display since Saturday.

Fans, who have travelled from as far away as New Zealand and the United States for the Eras Tour, were posing for pictures with the installations on Wednesday, while queues formed at the stadium for early sales of the popstar’s merchandise.

Hannah Horst, 25, had travelled to Liverpool from Wisconsin in America with Angela Jacoby, Sam Kappel, both also 25, and Hannah May, 23, after they failed to get tickets for her US gigs.

She said: “The city embraces it. We love that, we think that’s so great.”

The friends, who said they expected to be “sobbing” during their idol’s concert, described Swift as a “welcoming space” and said they were “loving every minute” of the trip.

Emily Yorke, 20, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said she was due to go to two of the Anfield concerts after attending a show in Edinburgh last week, but had travelled a day early to meet fellow fans on the Taylor Trail.

She said: “I’m going to Cardiff next week and then London and then Amsterdam, Milan and Zurich as well.

“She’s changed my life completely.”

Lauren O’Leary, 37, had come back to her hometown of Liverpool from New Zealand to see Swift.

She said: “It’s amazing that she’s coming here. It’s such a good vibe. It’s just going to be a brilliant atmosphere.”

Her niece Ellie Dohthwaite, 18, who will be at the concert with her, added: “I’ve literally cried every morning, I’m so excited.”

Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan said the reaction from fans so far had been “off the scale”.

She said: “Liverpool is no longer Liverpool for this whole week, Liverpool is Taylor Town.

“It’s just been brilliant and people are so polite because there are 11 (art installations), you have to queue, you have to wait.

“The queues are just chatting amongst themselves and then people are just having real moments of coming together with people they don’t know.

“It’s just been beautiful, it’s been an incredible atmosphere across the whole city.

“We wanted people to come, if they haven’t got tickets but they want a bit of Taylor magic, they can come to Liverpool before the show and just feel it. That’s exactly what people are doing.”

Ms McColgan, who was behind the city’s Eurovision celebrations last year, said that as well as an economic boost, the concerts reinforced Liverpool’s international reputation.

She added: “The world can be a very dark place and in Liverpool, it’s light.

“When those fans come in, those young women who are just loving Taylor, they’ll bring an energy to the place that will just make it really sing and I think that’s what great art does and that’s what great events do.”

Merseyside Police has warned fans without tickets not to travel to Anfield for the shows, which will see crowds of about 53,000 each night.

Chief Superintendent Zoe Thornton said: “We are anticipating high volumes of people travelling to the city each day and I must ask for the safety of everyone that only those who have a concert ticket should travel to the stadium.

“We have a robust policing operation in place including the deployment of Project Servator officers, who are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may have criminal intent, such as gathering information that may help them plan or prepare to commit a crime.”

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