Taylor Swift’s devoted fan base has been training since 2009’s Fearless tour, her arena debut, for this summer’s originally planned, multi-continental, 15-date trek known as Lover Fest. In October of last year, fans waited in virtual lines for hours to purchase tickets for the coveted event. On Twitter, many had already begun coordinating outfits and planning meetups with fellow Swifties who they’ve met on the internet or at past concerts. Tori Ronak, a 27-year-old resident of Calgary, Canada, paid “three to four times the original ticket price” using Ticketmaster’s fan resale option for Lover Fest West in Inglewood, California. “After seeing how badly my friend wanted to go, I decided to purchase three tickets equaling $1,700 United States dollars,” Ronak told MTV News. “We were excited for the music, even more excited to see which musical guests she would bring on, and we were excited to get our outfits together.”
But as communities continue to avoid social gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Swift announced the cancellation of all 2020 tour dates on April 17 — including Lover Fest. “I’m so sad I won’t be able to see you guys in concert this year, but I know this is the right decision,” she tweeted. “Please, please stay healthy and safe.”
It was a long time coming. Several of the events Swift was scheduled to headline this summer — including Glastonbury Festival, Roskilde Festival, and British Summer Time — had already been canceled. And with the coronavirus pandemic threatening both public health and the global economy, some die-hard fans told MTV News before the announcement that they would do just about anything for Swift to cancel the tour and issue refunds — not simply because they want their money back, but because now many need those funds for basic necessities such as food, rent, and other miscellaneous bills.