Some of Australia’s finest chanteuses and most fearless performers are bringing their favourite Taylor Swift songs to Ballarat for Taylor Made: Taylor Swift Tribute.
Did you spend nine hours in the non-existent Ticketek queue attempting to purchase tickets to the biggest stadium concert of the year, or this era, to no avail?
We feel your pain, as does Clementine Ford, a dedicated Swiftie, who also missed the chance to see the biggest star on the earth, Taylor Swift, in her economy-busting, 13 million dollar-a-night income The Era’s Tour.
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“I realised how serious a mission this was when Chrissie Swan said that she was trying to get tickets. You know, if Chrissie Swan can’t get on the media list or get a ticket then this is an impossible task. I actually didn’t try for tickets myself – my best friend who’s also a massive Swiftie took the hit and sat online for hours but we weren’t successful,” Ford explains.
Whilst Taylor did come to the rescue with her concert cinematic experience for the $92.8m grossing box office smash Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, there is nothing quite like belting your favourite songs in a live setting. Ford knows this all too well so decided to create her own Taylor Swift live event experience!
Introducing Taylor Made: A Taylor Swift Celebration, a concert initiative presented by Ford in conjunction with ALWAYS LIVE and Story Baker which sees a lineup of fearless Australian artists celebrate the Nashville phenomena’s sparkling storybook of song.
Ford, fitted with the idea of staging a show so she didn’t have to wallow with FOMO on the Melbourne concert weekend, approached long-time collaborator, producer Marty Brown, to bring together what was initially a single event ‘pub show’. Brown had other ideas.
“Marty and I make an incredible team in that Marty is one of the most organised, productive people that I’ve ever met in my life, and I bring the ideas,” Ford explains.
“I just thought I would do this single show. I can never even conceive of what the scale of these things can be because I just think, “oh, let’s just do it at the pub”. But of course, one of the great things about working with Marty is that he has a much bigger vision and understanding for what these things can look like, which is so great. What this has become is much bigger than anything I thought it would be.”
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With Taylor Made boating performances from Alex the Astronaut, Charley, Clare Bowditch, Emily Wurramara, Kate Miller-Heidke, Lisa Mitchell, Sophia J. Smith and Ford herself, the initial show at Northcote Theatre sold out in 12 minutes. A second show was added, selling out in hours. Four shows now run across the weekend including what is expected to be an enchanting experience at Kryal Castle on Saturday 25 November as part of their Live At The Castle series.
“It’s amazing to think this is the response. Obviously, you always want your ideas to kind of land well but it’s really reassuring and validating that we’re at this sort of post cynicism point where it’s actually okay to say that you like this kind of music and it’s okay to be a woman who just enjoys it and who revels in performing it and coming together with my friends.
“Obviously, it’s not just women. But the reason that we’re made to feel, or we have been made to feel bad about liking certain things, it’s because they’re feminised. And Taylor Swift is like the epitome of feminised pop music. The enthusiasm for it is really refreshing. It’s pure and earnest, and I love that! Taylor is a lyrical genius and we should celebrate all aspects of that,” she says.
Sparks will fly on the stage as the performers collaborate on their favourite tracks. Ford takes on a selection of songs from Red with fellow Swift singers, including dueting with Sophia J. Smith for the Swift meets Phoebe Bridgers slow-burn ‘Nothing New’.
“One of the things that I really love about this lineup is that, with the exception of one or two of the performers whose careers are new because they’re young – obviously, Sophia [J. Smith] is 16 and it’s amazing to think that we are meeting artists who are at the very beginning of what will be an incredible career and on the precipice of beginning their path to greatness – but most of those performing are women of my contemporary age,” Ford explains.
“I’m 42, and there’s something really magical about bringing together a collection of women and non-binary individuals who are very strong-minded, very self-aware, incredible at advocating for themselves and for other women in their industry because they’ve had so much experience and probably some painful ones that have taught them that they have to be. If I can be so bold, there’s something that kind of mirrors Taylor’s energy in that there’s a real wisdom and journey there.”
Let’s not forget the fact that the event setting resembles a classic Swift song and music video. Perhaps not as subtle as Swift’s easter eggs, Kryal Castle will be the perfect place for a ‘Love Story’ singalong whilst the Ballarat history nods to a favourite evermore track, ‘gold rush’.
To witness this, lovers of Taylor Swift won’t have to wait in a queue for tickets but be aware they are selling quickly. $1 from every ticket sale will go towards Support Act so there is no excuse not to go (unless you’re seeing the real Taylor Swift of course – lucky devil). Get them here.
Taylor Made: A Celebration of Taylor Swift is going down Saturday 25 November at Kryal Castle.