How these youths are preparing for Taylor Swift tickets: Having a roster, queuing 2 days early

Ashley Chin, Suzanne Chan and Dillon Loh
The Straits Times
Jul 6, 2023

The next battle in The Great War for Taylor Swift concert tickets is under way, after the pre-sale tickets to the American pop star’s Singapore shows in March 2024 sold out within three hours on Wednesday.

After failing to snag tickets at Wednesday’s pre-sale for United Overseas Bank (UOB) cardholders, several local Swifties, the singer’s fans are called, are not leaving anything to chance for the general sale, which begins at noon on Friday.

Propelled by anxiety and desperation, these hardcore fans began queueing two days in advance at SingPost branches, hoping to be among the first in line when general ticket sales open.

Polytechnic student Nellie Titus, 18, and her friends turned up at Lim Ah Pin Post Office in Kovan on Wednesday at 10.30pm. Her elder sister Nicolette, a 21-year-old who is waiting to enter university, was first to secure her queueing spot there at 3.45pm.

(From left) Polytechnic student Nellie Titus and her friends Rebekah Loh, Megan Choy and Lynette Saw turned up at Lim Ah Pin Post Office in Kovan on Wednesday at 10.30pm. Photo: The Straits Times

Their group had planned to queue only the night before the general sale, if they were unsuccessful during the UOB pre-sale.

However, an article that appeared in The Straits Times on Tuesday intensified their stress – the story “outed” the Lim Ah Pin post office as being relatively less crowded than other branches and hence providing fans a higher chance of securing tickets.

“We were so scared and low-key mad (when the article came out),” said Ms Titus.

Ticketing platform Ticketmaster – the alternative method which requires fans to join an online queue – was out of the question for them as it “usually crashes and doesn’t handle huge volume well”.

Ms Titus told ST: “Usually, if you’re first in line at SingPost, the success rate is pretty high from what we’ve seen.”

She decided on Lim Ah Pin Post Office as their party of eight live near the location. Although it is hidden behind an Esso petrol station, she said they felt safe to camp there due to its proximity to Upper Serangoon Road and popular late-night eateries.

It helps that their homes are nearby and their family members are willing to take turns to stand in line for them when they need a break. The girls have also drawn up a roster for themselves, allowing them to leave the queue at different times for various commitments like attending school.

Together, the group has prepared picnic mats, foldable camping chairs, umbrellas, portable chargers and snacks to get through the two-night stay.

Responding to haters who might dismiss them for going to such extremes, polytechnic student Rebekah Loh, 18, said: “I don’t think we’re crazy. We’re just dedicated fans.”

Hoping to be second time lucky, another fan, Ms Casey James, was first in line with a friend at Sengkang Central Post Office at 5pm on Wednesday.

Not only is this the branch nearest to her home, but it was also where she recently scored tickets in June to British rock band Coldplay’s January 2024 concert by queueing the night before.

Ms Casey James was the first in line at the Sengkang Community Club SingPost branch on Wednesday night. Photo: The Straits Times

The 20-year-old barista, who is on leave these few days, said: “I had only one meal today because during the pre-sale, we were so stressed that we were crying and breaking down and couldn’t eat. I did not plan to come so early this time, but after the whole UOB debacle where the Ticketmaster site kept crashing, I felt that’s what everyone would do. And Taylor is a bigger artiste than Coldplay, so the pressure is there.”

She added: “The one constant thing in my life has always been her music, no matter what I was going through. And I love her as a person, I really look up to her. I don’t think there’s any other artiste I would go this far for.”

On how she and her friend intend to survive two days of queueing, she pointed to a few rocks she arranged in a circle around a Swift album cover, calling it her “manifestation stuff”.

She added: “We have Monopoly playing cards, I have a ukulele and I brought my fully charged laptop, but I won’t use it unless I really need to.”

Over at Ang Mo Kio Central Post Office, student Anyi Ye, 19, who is on a term break, was the earliest to arrive at 7.30pm.

(From left) Ms Anyi Ye, Ms Charmaine Cheng and Ms Joie Tan outside the Ang Mo Kio Central SingPost Post Office on Wednesday night. Photo: The Straits Times

She, too, did not plan to camp out for two days. However, once she heard that queues had begun to form at other SingPost outlets from a Taylor Swift fan Telegram group, she rushed down as fast as she could.

Said Ms Ye, who lives 10 minutes from the post office and will be taking turns to take toilet and food breaks with her friend: “I was so excited when I was the first one here. It is the best opportunity to secure my tickets. I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift since I was five. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”

The Straits Times

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