Odd Problem for Swifties: Go to a Show, Then Forget It

'Post-concert amnesia' is a thing, psychologists say; also fans find end-run around scalpers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2023 5:30 AM CDT
Taylor Swift Fans Find End Run Around Scalpers
Taylor Swift performs during the opener of her Eras tour, Friday, March 17, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

As the Taylor Swift Eras Tour rolls on, two stories illustrate just how much of a phenomenon it is for her fans. One involves ticket sales, the other a strange experience being called "post-concert amnesia." On the first, the Wall Street Journal reports that three friends have teamed up to help fellow fans avoid getting gouged or scammed. Courtney Johnston, 25, Channette Garay, 24, and Angel Richards, 27, have set up a Twitter account @ErasTourResell that connects fans who want to sell their tickets to other fans—and the tickets go for face value or something reasonably near face value. The women make no money on their venture, which has become so popular that it takes them 40 hours a week to run.

It's a reaction to the awful experience many Swifties have had trying to buy tickets, either through Ticketmaster or through secondary sellers that sometimes try to get five figures for seats. The story quotes 27-year-old Quinn Cahill, who scored a seat in Boston through the women and said this of his show: "Throughout the entire concert, I feel like I blacked out because it was just such an emotional high." Which brings us to the second story: the amnesia thing. As both the BBC and NBC Chicago report, Swifties have been taking to social media to report that after attending a show, they later can't remember much of it. "It's fascinating that it takes a Taylor Swift concert and multiple concerts for this to become topical," but "it's a normal phenomenon," Dr. Robert Shulman of the Rush University Medical Center tells NBC.

"When one has a whole lot of adrenaline and corticosteroids circulating because they're excited and jumping up and down and 'this is the greatest thing ever,' yeah, you're not going to remember everything start to finish because of that. Because it interferes with how memory works," he says. And it's not full amnesia: Fans affected will likely remember snippets, if not great swaths of details. "It's simply that they encode some aspects of the event in memory, and not others," explains Dr. Michelle Phillips, of the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK, to the BBC. But they should rest assured that going to the show is "likely to be one of the things they remember attending for the rest of their lives," she adds. (More Taylor Swift stories.)

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