Taylor Swift’s Canadian fans were left heartbroken and confused this week as they tried to understand why the pop superstar seems prepared to skip their country on her Eras Tour.
Swift announced nearly 40 new dates on a tour that sees her wind through Mexico, Europe, Asia and Australia over the next year. Missing from the latest round of shows are stops in Canada.
It’s raised questions why the “Cruel Summer” singer-songwriter, who’s in the midst of an extensive summer tour in the United States, would choose not to bring her career-spanning, three-hour show to Canada.
Neither Swift nor her management has addressed the decision, while her record label Universal Music Canada declined to comment.
Some in the music industry suggest that it’s hard to pin down just one possible reason.
“You’re trying to get into the mind of the person who has the largest parasocial relationship with everyone in the world,” said Liam Killeen, who manages Canadian acts the Tea Party and Classified at Coalition Music.
“We just don’t know what she thinks.”
Here are some factors that may have affected why Canadian Swifties can’t have nice things:
VENUE SIZE MATTERS: When it comes to selling out a stadium show, Canada just can’t size up to the competition. Many of Swift’s U.S. concerts were booked in massive venues, including the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which was able to hold up to 73,000 people for each of the two nights she played, while the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will bring in 69,000 people per show over five nights in August. Canada’s stadiums don’t compete. For instance, the Rogers Centre in Toronto tops out around 55,000 people for concerts, while other stadiums are the same size or smaller, meaning Swift would pull in less revenue per performance.
CANADA IS EXPENSIVE: Combine fewer stadium tickets to sell with the weaker Canadian dollar and the allure of playing our biggest cities begins to fade for some foreign acts. One local music agency representative says unfavourable exchange rates can put extra pressure on trying to balance profits without a significant hike to ticket prices. With many concertgoers facing a rising cost of living, some artists have said they don’t want to carry the burden of fans thinking they’re overcharging for the experience. Swift has already faced a round of negative attention over markups for her U.S. concerts that saw some fans paying thousands of dollars for resold tickets.
NO BAD BLOOD, BUT SHE DOESN’T NEED US: Sure, it seems a given that Swift would schedule at least one concert date in Canada, especially since she’s played the country on all of her previous tours. And most pop superstars wind through at least Toronto, if not other major cities such as Vancouver and Montreal. But some industry observers suggest that with Swift playing more than 50 dates south of the border this year, it’s possible her tour bookers decided Canadian fans already had ample opportunities to catch her in the United States.
Todd Jenereaux, an executive at Republic Live, which organizes the Boots & Hearts country music festival in Oro-Medonte, Ont., said many Canadians are willing to travel far and wide for their favourite musicians.
“They’re quite prepared, especially in the summer, to roll it into a vacation,” he said. “I’ll bet you the Nashville stops had lots of Canadians at the Taylor Swift shows, because it becomes part of tourism. They book a weekend, have their concert tickets, and they do Nashville stuff the rest of the time.”
WE COULD STILL GET BACK TOGETHER?: For all the fuss around the lack of Canadian dates, it’s quite possible Swift hasn’t written us off. Major stadium tours sometimes wind through North America for a victory lap, as Elton John did with his retirement tour. John started in North America and came back twice more over several years. Swift’s Eras Tour captures her 10 studio albums to this point and comes as she re-records and re-releases her entire back catalogue. With several more albums to go, that means there could still be plenty of blank space left on her tour schedule for the coming years to hit up at least a few provinces.