Taylor Swift fan mania in view at first Santa Clara Eras Tour concert

SANTA CLARA — As the hours ticked down before Taylor Swift took the stage, thousands of fans that successfully battled it out for a seat inside the Bay Area’s first sold out Eras Tour concert, started partying outside Levi’s Stadium gates.

Swifties decked out in friendship bracelets, temporary “13” tattoos, sparkly cowboy hats, merch emblazoned with their idol’s likeness — and even a ballgown or two — queued in line for hours, anxiously waiting to experience the cultural phenomenon, which is on track to become the highest-grossing musical tour of all time, anticipated to exceed more than $1 billion in revenue.

In the past week, stadium officials and Santa Clara police had warned that tailgating — or Taylor-gating  — would not be allowed in the nearby parking lots, immediately disappointing ticketless fans that were planning to congregate outside the venue to enjoy snippets of the sold-out, three-hour concert, as thousands have done before them along other stops of the Eras Tour.

But that hullabaloo didn’t deter local Swifties. Ticketless Bay Area fans mingled with those waiting to get in, despite the warnings, either willing to risk the trouble to experience the special occasion or taking to heart the urging of Santa Clara City Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe, who argued the city could not realistically (or legally) enforce a ban along public streets near Levi’s.

At midafternoon, police were busy with traffic control, and little else.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Rebecca Burton was one of the first fans with general admission tickets to make it inside Levi’s Stadium.

The 23-year-old, who traveled three hours from Pismo Beach and was the first one to line up along Tasmin Drive at noon, was shocked that she didn’t have to wait longer.

“We thought we were showing up late!” Burton said. “But when we got to this gate, there was no one else here, so we made our own line.”

No matter how or why they were there, fans young and old were buzzing with excitement ahead of the show.

Seats inside Amtrak, Caltrain and VTA trains were abnormally chock full of fans gushing about the songs they hoped to hear, while some concertgoers even flew into town for the occasion and received a complementary “Fly SJC” bracelets upon arrival.

April, Cydney, Lilly and Bella Crain trekked down from their home Sacramento on a packed Amtrak train Friday afternoon, taking advantage of the last-minute opportunity to refresh their makeup — complete with Swift’s signature bright red lipstick.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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