Americans just discovered what Taylor Swift’s Aussie shows were like. They’re stunned.

The entire world is in its Taylor Swift era right now.

Swift fever hit Australia hard in recent weeks, ramping up to its peak as she performed three nights in Melbourne, following four nights in Sydney, on her Eras Tour. 

Practically the whole country became cowboy booted, friendship bracelet-adorned and rhinestoned to the nines, and while her spectacular seven-show run Down Under may have come to a close, we're still riding the wave created by the Swiftie fanfare — and expect to continue to do so for a while yet.

But while you may think Swift's spirited, three-and-a-half-hour show has been copy-and-pasted from venue to venue around the world, the singer's American fans are quietly losing their biscuits over some major differences to how the world tour is run on the other side of the world.

In particular, US Swifties can't quite grapple with one very major tour rule in America that is simply... not being enforced in Australia.

Watch: Taylor Swift announces her next album, at the 2024 Grammys. Post continues below.

Video via Grammys.

You see, most stadiums in America have pretty strict policies when it comes to what you can bring into the venue with you. Most attendees, of any stadium event, have to adhere to bringing but one small bag — but there's a catch in America. 

Your bag has to be see-through.


So, when they saw Aussies filling their feeds from the Sydney and Melbourne Eras Tour shows, wearing bags of all different shapes, sizes and — most importantly — opacity levels, they were confused. Bewildered. Stunned.

The uproar on social media really shone a light on the stark differences between the two countries and their approaches to public safety, large-scale events and gun control. In the US these clear bag policies have been enforced in response to the gun violence issue that never seems to wane, with 632 mass shootings claiming the lives of more than 40,000 people in 2023 alone.

One TikTok user created a video to explain that the clear bag policy was introduced to most stadiums in 2013 to assist security teams in clearing attendees before allowing them to enter a venue. A clear bag allows security to check the contents more easily, and ensure public safety is paramount amongst a gun violence epidemic. And it seems this has become pretty commonplace for most stadiums and an expected part of most concertgoers' experience.

@rebeccapousma Replying to @Isabel (Taylor's version) #taylorswift #theerastour #clearbagpolicy ♬ original sound - REBA

This is a far cry from the situation in Australia, which has largely managed to avoid mass-shooting events since mandates were brought in during the '90s. In response to the tragic Port Arthur Massacre, which saw 35 victims killed in a mass-shooting event, then-Prime Minister John Howard and the Liberal Party introduced and finalised a National Firearms Agreement that made previously lax licencing a lot more stringent.

As part of the agreement, there was also a gun buyback scheme, which saw the government purchase $304 million worth of firearms from the public. The Australian gun law reform in 1996 was heralded as a major success and has been widely considered the key to the country's ability to avoid gun violence akin to what we've seen in the US. 


Elsewhere, American commenters have become totally shook over our stadium... parking. Yes, you read that right — apparently we've got some work to do on our humble parking lots. When Visit Melbourne posted a video to their TikTok account showing Taylor addressing the 96,000-strong crowd, while showing off an aerial view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the comments section popped off with Americans wondering where the bloody hell punters are meant to park.

@visitmelbourne Our iconic @Melbourne Cricket Ground stadium is currently making history as it hosts the biggest Taylor Swift | Eras Tour concert yet, with 96,000 fans celebrating last night in Melbourne 🫶 🎥 Via IG / samwtucker 🎤 @livs #Melbourne #TaylorSwift #ErasTour #MelbourneTok ♬ original sound - Visit Melbourne

"If that was the US the stadium would be surrounded by an asphalt desert of parking lot," wrote one user.

"I'm just trying to figure out where all their cars are," wrote a user.

"Silly question but, where do people park?" wrote another.

It seemed to spotlight yet another major cultural difference between our countries: While most Aussies will jump on public transport to get to a venue, Americans are more inclined to drive their cars — hence the need for gargantuan parking lots almost double the size of the stadiums themselves. 

Sustainability expert John Apabon took to his TikTok account to decode our different attitudes to public transport and driving.

@johnapabon #stitch with @Visit Melbourne #automobiles #cars #publictransport #melbourne #taylorswift #sustainableliving #greencity #infrastructure #australiavsusa ♬ original sound - Sustainability made simple

Of course there are pros and con's to this argument. Many Aussies have often cursed the lagging Sydney trains, especially when trying to leave a venue bumper to bumper with their fellow concertgoers. But the uptick is public transport is a much more sustainable way to travel.

So, while this will once again boil down to another case of "you say potato, I say po-tah-to", one thing is for sure — this is an Era we'll never forget, clear bags, limited parking and all.

Feature Image: Getty.

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