Here’s how Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stop in Santa Clara is going

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It was a big deal for Taylor Swift fans.

Thousands of fans gathered outside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara around noon Friday, July 28, for the first of two concerts by the pop superstar.

Her only Bay Area stop on her Eras Tour, Swift’s performances start at 6:30 p.m. each night, and opening acts Gracie Abrams and Haim will open. Even in the sweltering heat, Swifties said they wanted to arrive early in order to avoid traffic jams.

After arriving four hours before the stadium gates opened, Britney Patiu and her friends burst into cheers when the clock struck 4:30 p.m. and the stadium entrance opened.

“It’s exhilarating,” said the 23-year-old. “All this waiting was worth it.”

Swifties shared stories and exchanged friendship bracelets, a practice inspired by the lyrics of “You’re on Your Own Kid” from her latest album “Midnights” that has become an integral part of the concert experience.

In the midst of her hot pink sequin dress, modeled after Swift’s outfit in her “ME!” music video, San Jose resident Allison Pan went the extra mile. With Swift’s lyrics on ribbon-tied friendship bracelets, the 15-year-old carried a binder-ring full of ribbon-tied friendship bracelets. It was more than entertainment for her. She said Swift’s music helped her cope with hard times.

As she traded friendship bracelets with fellow Swifties, the 15-year-old explained, “I wanted to interact with other fans because I heard they are nice.”

Lounging on the grass outside the venue with her friends, Chiara Volpi wore a purple dress to honor Swift’s “Speak Now” look.

This concert just feels like family,” the 16-year-old from San Francisco says. “At some concerts you feel scared, a bit daunted, but here people are so nice. It feels like we’ve all bonded over this one artist.”

Some in the crowd speculated — and wished — what surprise songs Swift might perform tonight or Saturday, July 29, which is a tradition of Swift on her Eras Tour. The list ranged from her beloved “Cornelia Street” from her 2019 album, “Lover,” to the nostalgic “New Romantics” from her 2014 release “1989,” and everything in between.

The Santa Clara police department, which tweeted Friday morning that it would temporarily be known as Swiftie Clara along with the city, directed cars to keep the parking lot clear Friday afternoon, following the city’s previously announced ban on tailgating.

Since earlier in the week, Santa Clara Council Member Kathy Watanabe encouraged Swifties to congregate in parking lots and surrounding streets before and during the shows, there was still confusion about whether fans without tickets could gather around the stadium.

“We’re talking about public streets. You can’t control people’s ability to stand on them,” Watanabe said. “They’re welcome.”

Aidin Vaziri contributed to this report as a Chronicle staff writer.

Laya Neelakandan can be reached at [email protected]

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‘Don’t drive’: Santa Clara mayor warns of Taylor Swift traffic apocalypse

There will be a traffic apocalypse on Friday and Saturday when pop star Taylor Swift brings her Eras Tour to Santa Clara and Levi’s Stadium.

The best way to get to Levi’s Stadium from Santa Clara is to drive to a park-and-ride lot and take public transportation. It’s a very transit-rich area around the stadium.”

In order to park in an official lot at Levi’s Stadium, you need a pre-paid parking lot ticket (available on Levi’s Stadium’s website). On the phone with SFGATE, Gillmor told SFGATE, “You won’t be able to park in the neighborhoods. The entrances to the neighborhoods will be blocked, unless you live there.”

Parking lots open at 2 p.m., stadium gates open at 4:30 p.m., and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. For all information on parking, public transportation, bag policies and permitted and prohibited items, Gillmor said the Levi’s Stadium website is the go-to source.

It is advisable to buy tickets ahead of time if you plan to take public transportation. A light rail line is available between the Milpitas Transit Center and the show as well as several park-and-ride lots. If you are taking BART, you can connect to VTA at the Milpitas Transit Center. In order to accommodate Levi’s Stadium concerts, VTA will run 30% more trains than usual. You can buy VTA tickets ahead of time and find out more on

Moreover, BART will run two trains past the usual closing time on both nights. Two limited-stop trains will depart Milpitas Station at about 12:30 a.m. BART is also ramping up security for the concerts and safety parking lot escorts will be available after midnight. For more information, visit

Caltrain can also get fans to VTA’s Mountain View Station. Visit for details.

There has been a special parent drop-off point set up for the concert, Gillmor said. It is expected that parents will sit in traffic even getting to and from the drop-off location. The drop-off is on Great America Parkway by Tasman Drive and Old Glory Lane, and the pick-up location is on Patrick Henry Drive. You can find more information and maps at

Approximately 60,000 people are expected to attend each show, but Gillmor said thousands more without tickets will travel to Levi’s Stadium in hopes of landing a ticket. Many will be attending Levi’s Stadium for the first time.

You don’t want to miss a single song, she said. “This is a concert of a lifetime. It’s a generationally important concert, be prepared.”

According to her, this is by far the most anticipated concert in Levi’s Stadium’s history.