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Monday, July 15, 2024

City renamed after Taylor Swift

Gelsenkirchen is the first stop in Germany for the pop star’s Eras Tour

The German city of Gelsenkirchen will honor the US pop superstar Taylor Swift by temporarily renaming itself ‘Swiftkirchen’ later this month, local authorities have announced.

Swift began the 18-city European leg of her ‘Eras Tour’ in May. Her first stop in Germany will be Gelsenkirchen, where she is  and is scheduled to perform on July 17, 18 and 19.

Read more: Travis Kelce Surprises Fans by Joining Taylor Swift on Stage During ‘Eras Tour’

“It’s a great idea to temporarily rename Gelsenkirchen ‘Swiftkirchen’,” Mayor Karin Welge said in a letter to Aleshanee Westhoff, a German Swiftie who started a petition to that effect several weeks ago.

Westhoff unveiled the sign with the city’s new, albeit temporary, name on Wednesday. Several more signs “at highly frequented locations in Gelsenkirchen” will appear in the coming days, city spokesman Markus Schwardtmann has said.

“There will be many small and large surprises so that the Swifties in Gelsenkirchen have a lot to discover,” Schwardtmann added.

Read more: Climate protest targets Taylor Swift’s and other private jets at UK airport

The local public transit operator BOGESTRA has already launched a “Taylor Swift tram,” while the city intends to honor the breakup-song princess with her own stone on the Gelsenkirchen Walk of Fame. Swift’s fans will also be able to attend ‘Taylor Town’ open-air parties in the city center during the concert days.

According to the organizers, the Veltins Arena in Schalke has been sold out, with 70,000 fans expected in attendance every night. Swift will then move on to Hamburg and Munich.

There have been some concerns in the EU about the economic impact of Swift’s tour, with expressions such as ‘Swiftflation’ and ‘Swiftonomics’ being bandied about. According to some economists, the singer’s legions of fans tend to drive up demand during her performances, leaving higher prices in their wake. Others have shrugged off the phenomenon as transitory.

Swift’s mega-popularity has also been the subject of rumors in the US that she might be leveraged by one of the political parties in the coming election, or used by psychological operations – the latter of which the Pentagon has officially denied.