How tech is being Swift-ly tailored to the live music scene

25 Jun 2024

Taylor Swift performing during The Eras Tour. Image: Paolo Villanueva/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There is some cool technology on display at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, which is also being adopted by other live music performers.

Irish ‘swifties’ are preparing themselves for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour as it approaches Dublin this weekend, but there’s a lot more to see than just the star of the show.

There is a variety of flashy technology at these live performances to enhance the experience for its onlookers. Tech isn’t anything new for live performances – a lot is required behind the scenes for a show to go smoothly, from cameras to audio equipment.

But some of the gadgets on offer at the Taylor Swift concerts are quite novel – and may present a direction that other live musical acts are moving in.

Top swiftie tech

One of the most interesting gadgets on display at Swift’s concerts are the wristbands received by many concert attendees, which have a unique LED display.

These wristbands can be activated during the concert to release LED lights of various colours. With thousands of watchers, these wristbands work together to create a unique lightshow experience at the concert.

Lightshows aren’t a new concept for live music, but many fans have spoken positively about these wristbands online and say they help the audience to be “part of the show”. The wristband lighting is timed to the music, creating unique lightshow displays during the performance.

These battery-powered wristbands appear to be working overtime too – various swifties claim their wristbands continue lighting up hours after the performance ends.

This technology isn’t exclusive to Swift however. A partner at PixMob, an LED technology company, said on a podcast that the company’s technology is being used by Swift, Coldplay and The Weeknd on their tours.

The performances also feature an iconic stage dive moment, where Swift jumps under the stage while the floor looks like water. It then looks like Swift is swimming under the stage to the other side, before she continues her performance.

The move has stunned various onlookers in the past, as Swift can be seen diving headfirst under a stage, which leaves many wondering how this feat is accomplished. But thanks to some good camera angles from fans observing the stunt, some of the technical aspects have become more clear.

Swift’s popularity may also be a boon for other pieces of technology. A report from the BBC earlier this year suggested that swifties may be drawn to VR technology as a way to stream the Eras tour.

The rise of streaming technology has also created new opportunities for fans of various performers. The BBC recently revealed plans to livestream Dua Lipa and Coldplay’s Glastonbury performances this year – the first time Glastonbury will be livestreamed globally.

Too much for Ticketmaster

But while some tech aspects of the live performance sector are evolving, other sections are struggling to keep up. Booking tickets for a popular act has always been a challenge, as tickets can sell out incredibly fast and websites can become slow from the wave of customers attempting to grab a seat.

Buying tickets for the Eras tour led to a unique glitch for some fans, as many reported having duplicates of their purchases on their accounts. Thankfully, it appears that issue had a pretty easy way to be fixed.

But other issues are not so fixable, with one constant threat being scammers. Earlier this month, Bank of Ireland issued a warning for consumers to be wary when looking for tickets for Swift’s Eras tour. As normal Ticketmaster purchases sold out fast, the bank warned that fans are turning to resale options and that many of these could be fraudulent.

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Taylor Swift performing during The Eras Tour. Image: Paolo Villanueva via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic