What You Need to Know Before Seeing Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium

Are you ready for The Eras Tour?

Taylor Swift at Gillette Guide

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the The Eras Tour at Lincoln Financial Field on May 12, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS) / Photo via Getty Images/ Lisa Lake/TAS23 /Contributor

How long before the show to get there?

If you’re one of the lucky ones who got the nearly-instantly-sold-out train tickets, you don’t have to worry. But if you’re driving to Gillette, make sure you plan ahead. If you don’t want to miss the opener at 6:30 p.m., consider trying to arrive closer to when the lots open at 2:30. Parking at the stadium itself requires a (sold out) prepaid pass, but if you have one, you’re guaranteed a spot. Otherwise, there’s general parking across from the stadium that ticket holders can use, but again, get there early if you want to get a spot. Gillette also warns that people attending Friday’s show leave even earlier to beat rush hour traffic.

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What’s the best way to beat Gillette traffic?

The show’s over and you’re ready to take off like you’re in a getaway car. But much like Taylor said in that song off her Reputation album, “You’ll never get far.” Since there’s only one way in and out of the stadium, there will be tons of cars flooding the road at once, so you’ll probably spend more time asking the traffic lights if it’ll be alright (or if you’ll ever get home). If you’re thinking of sneaking out down a side road, don’t: Many of them are closed during events unless you’re a resident. (Now is the time to see which of your friends live in Foxborough and has a driveway you can borrow.)

Stadium lots also close right after the show, so waiting out the traffic isn’t really an option. Your best bet is seeing if someone in neighboring Walpole will rent you a parking spot at their home (it’s possible) and walking 25 minutes to the stadium (and back) or perhaps leaving the show a little early—if you can stand to miss the Midnights songs Swift closes with or one of her surprise (!) numbers.

What should I bring? What should I leave at home?

Let’s be honest: You’re going to want to be getting down to these sick beats, so you don’t want to worry about bringing and keeping track of a ton of items. Gillette also has a strict bag policy that will be in effect which means you can’t carry much in anyways. Only small wristlets, clear bags no bigger than 12-inch by 12-inch by 6-inch, and one-gallon plastic freezer bags are allowed in, so consider packing the basics like a portable phone charger and earplugs. (Trust, it’ll get loud.) But leave the fancy camera and umbrella at home, or else you won’t be able to stay, stay, stay.

Save yourself a massive headache and skip the merch.

Unless it’s really worth it to you to be able to walk out in the much-coveted Eras Tour sweatshirt, you might be better off ordering online than waiting to buy in-person (even though this merch will surely never go out of style). If you really need a tour poster, don’t settle for waiting in the first hyper-long line you see. Some stands will have shorter lines than others, so it could be worth it to hunt those down. Otherwise, consider making and trading friendship bracelets (a nod to the iconic lyric “So make the friendship bracelets” in “You’re on Your Own, Kid”) with other fans. Many are doing this and it’s a much more personal touch than a T-shirt everyone else will have.

Eat beforehand, hydrate throughout, and don’t skip your bathroom breaks.

Gillette doesn’t let you bring in food or drinks, so best to eat and hydrate before you get inside. There’s plenty of restaurants at Patriots Place. Or you can join in on a time-honored football tradition and tailgate (or might we say Tay-gate?) before the show, an opportunity to mingle with fellow fans and enjoy some breakfast at midnight (I mean, 4 p.m.). Just don’t have any open flames. (They’re against stadium policy.)

When it comes to the issue of bathroom breaks, fans on TikTok have been sharing their tips since the tour opened in March on how to get in a quick visit without missing much of the show. The short version is this: Go before the show starts, drink in small sips (but make sure you’re staying hydrated) and check the setlist to find a scheduled time to make a break (many recommend after “Enchanted” during the long intro to the Red segment of the show). Maybe skip the cheap-ass screw-top rose or other alcoholic beverages that’ll make you have to go.

What to wear: comfy shoes, minimal layers, and lots of sparkle.

Eager Swifties have been crafting their costumes for this show for months, whether they’re mimicking one of Taylor’s iconic outfits—like the Junior Jewels T-shirt from the “You Belong with Me” music video—or channeling her sparkly tour aesthetic with some sequined gear and a signature red lip. Fans who’ve already attended recommend layers and comfy shoes, as you’ll surely be shaking it off and getting a little sweaty. Forecasts for the weekend also show the possibility of some midnight rain, so a jacket isn’t a bad idea either.

If you don’t have tickets, don’t try to sit outside.

Taylor Swift fans in Philly made headlines earlier this week for lining up outside the stadium to listen to her performance without paying the price of a ticket (though they did miss out on the stunning visuals and Swift’s sparkly costumes). But if you’re hoping to hunker down in Patriot Place and get a free show, think again. Staff will be checking tickets to make sure only attendees are parking in the lots, so don’t expect to do some vigilante shit to eavesdrop on the grounds.

Remember: It’s a concert. Have fun.

Don’t bother getting angry at the person in your aisle who gets up and squeezes by you four times during the over three-hour show. Instead, just enjoy everyone holding up their phone lights as Taylor sings “Marjorie,” the wind literally blowing in your hair and enacting the lyrics during the ten-minute version of “All Too Well,” or screaming “HE LOOKS UP GRINNING LIKE A DEVIL” with a bunch of other people who love the same music you do. Take it from someone who saw Taylor Sunday in Philly  (and from Taylor herself)—you need to calm down if you want to have a good time.

Taylor Swift at Gillette Guide 2

Taylor Swift performs onstage during night two of  The Eras Tour at Nissan Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. / Photo via Getty Images/John Shearer/TAS23 / Contributor