“It’s me. Hi, I’m the problem. It’s me,” Taylor Swift sings in her new song “Anti-Hero,” presumably of the initial decision to schedule almost every U.S. date on her upcoming Eras Tour during Shabbat.
JK. But seriously, what the heck, Taylor Swift?!?
For those unaware of the news, here’s what’s up: On October 21, Taylor dropped her latest album “Midnights.” It’s fun, it’s great, it has us all feeling like sexy babies, etc. Soon after, Ms. Swift announced her Eras tour, which she described on Instagram as “a journey through the musical eras of [her] career (past and present!)” With 27 dates on the U.S. leg of her tour, it seemed like American Swifties, including Jewish fans, would have plenty of options to see their beloved pop princess in action.
Except for one tiny, aforementioned detail: Every tour date that was announced in that first wave, with the exception of April 2 in Arlington, Texas, was scheduled during Shabbat. Essentially, this excluded any Jewish fans who are shomer Shabbat — meaning that not only would they be attending Shabbat services during concerts, but also that they are also prohibited from doing activities that require labor (i.e. driving or riding in a car, spending money or even clapping and dancing, according to some). In all likelihood, this would also affect Jewish fans who are not strictly observant, but set aside Shabbat as a time to be with family and unplug from the rest of the world.
Plus, the first two Eras Tour dates in East Rutherford, New Jersey fall during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. ICYMI, TayTay, 25% of the American Jewish population lives in the New York Metro area!!
Naturally, the news prompted some pretty great responses from Jews online:
All jokes aside, however, I want to be clear that I don’t think Taylor Swift is antisemitic, or that this act was malicious. Swift may not even have picked the initial tour dates; that responsibility probably went to her touring manager.
Even so, this oversight still stings during a time of rising antisemitism — and I’m neither shomer Shabbat nor a Swiftie.
But this is an easy fix, and Taylor just made it! As of today, eight more shows have been added to the U.S. leg of her tour: April 14 in Tampa, May 5 in Nashville, May 14 in Philadelphia, May 21 in Foxborough, MA, May 28 in East Rutherford, July 23 in Seattle, July 28 in Santa Clara and August 3 in LA. The new dates in Philly, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Seattle and LA are all on weeknights!