Mass COVID-19 Outbreak Among Thousands of Taylor Swift Fans in Madrid Following Eras Tour Concert

“COVID, infected by Taylor Swift, I’ll sell my antigen test for 5000 euros,” one Swiftie said

Taylor Swift performs on stage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on May 29, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. (Xavi Torrent/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Some Swifties in Europe have more than Taylor Swift in common — they have COVID-19 too.

During the singer’s European Eras Tour stops, Swift performed in Madrid on May 29 and 30. According to Spanish news site El Nacional, not long after the concert that amassed about 130,000 attendees over two days, thousands online have said they contracted COVID-19. Such gatherings are widely known for being possible superspreader events, as people from many different areas – sometimes even flying in from different countries – are in such close proximity.

One specific X account, known for being a hub for Spanish Swifties, took a poll of their followers, asking if they had become sick with COVID-19 after one of Swift’s concerts in Madrid. Of the 10,796 people who answered the poll online, 35%, or 3,780 of the concertgoers said they had.

One concertgoer described their symptoms as, “Cough, sore throat, body discomfort and I can hardly speak.” Another said that a few days after both concerts, “On Saturday my neck hurt, and I spent the night from Sunday to Monday with a fever of 39C, one of the worst nights of my life.” Another person said, “During the weekend, I noticed that I felt different because I was feeling very uncomfortable, and felt dizzy. Yesterday I was coughing non-stop. I took the test today and it came back positive.”

It’s not just some of the largest European cities facing superspreader events in the coming summer. In the United States, scientists are warning of what they have been calling a “summer wave” of COVID-19 cases. The potential rise in COVID-19 cases stems from new Omicron subvariants like the KP.3 variant, JN.1 virus, or other strains known as the Flirt strains. The Centers for Disease Control said that these new strains of COVID now account for more than 50% of the cases in the U.S. According to the CDC, infection rates and hospitalization have been lower or “minimal” levels of “respiratory illness activity.” However, the government agency’s data suggests that infections are projected to increase in several states across the country like California, Washington D.C., Florida, New Jersey and Texas.

Despite the growing concerns about new variants causing an increase in infections, there has been an unexpected outcome to thousands of Swifties testing positive. Some have shared how the COVID experience and symptoms have been difficult to deal with but others have treated it as just another Taylor Swift Eras Tour bonus. “COVID, infected by Taylor Swift, I’ll sell my antigen test for 5000 euros!” one person wrote, as if the test was a Swiftie keepsake. Another said, “Taylor Swift is so cute – she included the new COVID variant as a surprise in the Eras Tour Madrid.”

Even though some Swifties may wear their positive COVID tests as a badge of honor, Spanish Swifties aren’t the only ones who have contracted COVID at the Eras Tour. The Nacional also reported that some French Swifties are experiencing similar symptoms to COVID-19 after the singer’s two-day stint in Paris on June 9 and 10. There were also some concerns that some concertgoers contracted COVID-19 last year during the U.S. leg of the tour. However, the Los Angeles Times said it wasn’t clear if those cases contributed to a larger spread of the virus.

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