Taylor Swift has spoken exclusively to Music Week about her live plans for the Lover era, which will see the superstar singer-songwriter play a series of festivals rather than do her own stadium tour.
Swift’s highly-acclaimed, all-conquering Reputation Stadium Tour set new benchmarks for production, and was the top-grossing US tour of 2018, with $277.3 million (£216m). But the Lover era – which was launched with an intimate show in Paris that saw Swift play many songs acoustically – has prompted her to try a different live approach.
In her Music Week cover story last week, as well as talking about the new-found freedom granted by her new record deal with Republic and her experiences as a young woman in the music industry, Swift reminisced about how she would draw the stage designs for her early tours way in advance of the actual dates. And she said she was still applying the same forensic attention to detail in her career nowadays.
“Oh, definitely,” she told Music Week. “And that’s why it’s still fun for me to take on a challenge like, ‘Let’s just plan our own festival, let’s do this live component to Lover differently’. Rather than doing a stadium tour just like the one we just did, let me go to these countries that I haven’t been to, that have been so supportive and wonderful, let me play some festivals and have experiences that I haven’t had before.”
After her headline set at Capital's Jingle Bell Ball in December, Swift is playing multiple festival dates next summer, including Roskilde in Denmark, Open’er in Poland and Mad Cool Festival in Spain. In America, Swift will play two curated LoverFest events, with two dates in Los Angeles and two in Foxborough.
“I thought, ‘Let’s create two festivals in America and create a bill of artists and really just try and make it as fun as possible for the fans’. In LoverFest East and West I’m playing in the round, so I’ll be surrounded by people in a stadium in a way that I never have been before. I’m so intrigued by what that’s going to be like.”
Her UK touring plans are expected to be announced shortly. But Swift said the intimate style seen in Paris – and featured in the Reputation Tour ‘surprise songs’ section – could have an influence on her live approach this time around.
“I had a really good time with that show,” she said. “There is something really fun about just going through the back catalogue and playing all the songs people have heard on the radio, stripping down some things, playing songs from Lover.
“I love to really create the live show based on what the music is on each album,” she added. “Reputation was like a rock opera: it was an opportunity to create almost a musical, but within a stadium, dark, edgy capacity. I’m going to approach this completely differently because the music is so different and it’s really more about fitting with the music rather than creating huge massive intricate visuals around it. Yes, I want to have great visuals, but I don’t want anything to be over-shadowing the songs, because the songs are so important to this particular incarnation of the live show.”