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Taylor Swift fans cause seismic activity in Edinburgh – but not as much as Harry Styles did



Taylor Swift fans cause seismic activity in Edinburgh – but not as much as Harry Styles did

Seismologists in Edinburgh have found that Taylor Swift fans at her recent Murrayfield stadium concerts triggered spikes in their earthquake-reading equipment – but not as much as Harry Styles fans managed to generate last year.

Monitoring stations run by the British Geological Survey (BGS) recorded movement during the three-night run of Swift’s Eras tour, with one station detecting the activity six kilometres away.

They recorded a maximum of 23.4 nanometres (nm) of movement – admittedly considerably less than an actual earthquake – during the 7 July concert, with particular impact coming as the 73,000 fans danced to Ready For It? and Cruel Summer.

At each Eras show, Swift fans try to outdo rival stadiums on the tour for volume and intensity with a standing ovation at the close of Champagne Problems, and the Edinburgh crowd duly generated another spike at this point in the show. “Clearly Scotland’s reputation for providing some of the most enthusiastic audiences remains well intact,” said Callum Harrison of BGS, though BGS acknowledged the effects would only be felt around 500 metres from the stadium.

The Swifties’ efforts mean that they have trounced fans at Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour, who generated a peak of 14nm in May 2023. Later that month, the famously ardent fandom of Bruce Springsteen managed even less, at 13.8nm.

But all have some way to go to beat the mania generated by Harry Styles the same month, which prompted a reading of 30.9nm – the highest reading since BGS’s records for Murrayfield concerts began.

Last year, Swift set a record for seismological movement at a July concert in Seattle’s Lumen Field, beating the previous spike set by American football fans celebrating a touchdown by Marshawn Lynch in a 2011 match between Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.

The UK leg of the Eras tour has now moved on to a three-night run in Liverpool, opening on Thursday, followed by a single show in Cardiff and three nights in London’s Wembley stadium. Swift then returns for another five Wembley shows in August.

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The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis gave the earth-shaking 7 July show a five-star review, calling it “incredibly impressive … She’s a genuinely engaging performer on a grand scale”.

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