The Taylor Swift effect hits Paris as thousands of fans were already visiting the La Defense Arena 24 hours before the show just to get their hands on the merchandise as soon as possible.

A handful of superfans camped out from Tuesday to ensure they got a prime spot in the standing section. “I didn’t plan to, but I came to check it out and I saw the first tents and I panicked a little,” said Chris, 30. Noah, 20, is seeing all four Paris concerts — he used 22 email addresses to get through the lottery system and secure the tickets.

Many accents in the crowd were American — the venue says a fifth of the audience has come from the United States. Georg’Ann Daly decided to celebrate her 23rd birthday with the show in Paris. It meant flying from Nashville to Chicago to London and catching the Eurostar to Paris.

I’ve always been obsessed with Taylor Swift,” she told AFP. “I went to her show in Nashville and thought I’m never doing that again because it was crazy. It’s a lot of over-stimulation and I have social anxiety.

But it’s my birthday and it’s Paris and it’s the first night of the tour, and I thought why not? It’s so worth it!” Some 42,000 people will see Swift in Paris before she heads on for dates in Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Poland and Austria. The Eras Tour has worked its way across North and South America and Asia since starting in March 2023.

By the end of the year, it had already become the first to sell more than $1 billion in tickets and is on track to more than double that by the time it concludes in Vancouver this December. Swifties in Paris are especially excited to hear songs off her new album, “The Tortured Poets Society”, being performed for the first time.

Many critics have derided the 31-track album as bloated and lacking in sure-fire hits. But you won’t hear that from the devoted crowd in Paris. “I love the new album — it’s chill, it’s fun to listen to even though it’s got a sadder vibe,” said Kelly Shrout, 40, who flew with 11 friends from Kentucky in the United States for the show