Meet The Irish Fans Willing To Travel Far (And Wide) For Concerts

Nobody's playing Ireland these days... what're you gonna do?

The summer of 2023 seems to be the summer of the concert.

From Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour taking over everyone’s TikTok FYP and Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour taking over Europe, everyone seems to be planning their trips to see the biggest women in the music industry on stage. Of course, neither of them has made it to Ireland (yet) with their shows. But that hasn’t stopped people from travelling around the globe to see their idols.

If you’ve spent time on TikTok then you’ve no doubt seen people who have packed up their lives and followed their favourite artists on tour. Groups of people have followed Harry Styles across America during Love on Tour. Of course, this is no new fad. Fans have been travelling to see singers for as long as they could. From Elvis Presley to Beatle-Mania, there have long been die-hard fans ready to risk it all to see their favourite performers.

Plenty of Irish women travelled the length and breadth of the country of the showbands back in the sixties. But it’s so popular now in fact, that American company Tomorrow and Tonight started a fan ‘tour bus’ so stans can safely follow artists around the country as they tour. The company say it’s ‘built by fans, for fans’, adding: “If you’ve ever wanted to live life on the road seeing your favourite artist night after night, making memories to last a lifetime, living life to the fullest like your favourite artists do every tour- this is for you. This is the ultimate experience for any music fan, and we would love to have you tour with us alongside your favourite artist.”

And at STELLAR we’re are no strangers to travelling for our favourite artists. Recently, I headed over to London to watch A Streetcar Named Desire starring our very own Paul Mescal. And yes, I went to the stage door to get a selfie and an autograph.

Lorna Gilligan is one of Shawn Mendes’ biggest fans and has met the Canadian singer several times. “I started getting really into Shawn Mendes’ music back in 2017, while I had been interested in other musicians like Justin Bieber and One Direction nothing prepared me for the level of fangirl that hit me when it came to Shawn,” she explains. “My absolute wildest moment was deciding to go to Amsterdam on a day’s notice to see the opening shows of his self-titled tour in 2018. I lived off 30 cent cans of soup for three months after it but it was so worth it for those opening shows.”

She goes on to say that New York and Toronto were the furthest cities she’s gone to for Shawn, but adds, “Australia and Asia were on the cards for the Wonder World Tour 2023 but sadly he cancelled. Over the course of six years, I’ve now seen him a total of 20 times and between VIP tickets and spotting him on the street, I’ve met him 15 times, He’s always a sweetheart stopping for a chat!”

Irish Swiftie Kate and her pals travelled to New York to see Taylor Swift perform earlier this year. “Once Taylor announced her tour in America, me and my friends all decided that we had to go because she hadn’t announced any international dates. We always said that we would love to go to one of her shows in the US. I’ve seen videos and pictures of concerts in America that look so vibrant and so energetic compared to European gigs,” Kate says.

She admits that the ‘atmosphere is just completely different’ over in the States. Of course, trying to get tickets was a nightmare. They had to sign up for the Verified Fan programme, and no one had a North American phone number. Her sister, thankfully, lives in Canada and her phone number was used in the lengthy process to get tickets. Three of the girls were able to sign up for the presale but only Kate was ‘approved’ to get the highly sought-after code.

“After three hours of waiting to get tickets I was able to get tickets for night one at MetLife stadium. We didn’t get the greatest tickets in the world, but we were just happy to get tickets. They were nosebleed seats, but they were reasonably priced. They were $105 and we weren’t willing to pay more than $200.” The group flew over the day before, and it was Kate’s first time in the States. “I had travelled for concerts before but never that far. I travelled to London and Germany to see Paramore, my favourite band.”

She explains: “It’s a whole different experience going to a concert in the US. It had a festival vibe, there were people in the car park outside the stadium with BBQs they could travel with and they had prepared food. Everyone was dressed up, I had never seen anything like it before. We dressed up too in Taylor Swift-themed outfits.”

As for the concert itself, Kate enthuses it was definitely worth travelling for. “It was the longest concert I’ve ever been to. She came out at 8pm and she didn’t leave the stage until 11:30pm. I don’t know how she did it. And everyone was such a huge fan, but maybe that’s just Taylor Swift. I loved travelling for it. I would definitely do it again.”

And it’s not just diehard fans who are travelling across the globe for their favourite celebrities. Many STELLAR readers have done the same, Kate said she saw Beyonce in Cardiff and will head to Amsterdam to see her again, while Sue explains: “I went to Barcelona for Kylie’s Aphrodite tour, because tickets, flights and accommodation were cheaper than a ticket for the 3Arena. Ended up winning tickets to the 3Arena night and it wasn’t a patch on Barca!”

Some may question the cost and effort it takes to see a celeb you love abroad, but Lorna explains: “People shop for clothes online every week and fill their lives with what to me are meaningless objects that will be forgotten. For me, a concert creates a million memories. I’ve made some of my best friends through his music and get to meet up with people from all over the world as a result. I’d rather spend thousands of euro on shows and travel than things I’ll never get any value or life experience from.”