Expert tips for Taylor Swift KC shows: The merch, the deals. And what if it rains?

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She’s been to four Taylor Swift concerts in her 18 years of life and has the fan merchandise in her Johnson County bedroom to show for it. She’s already seen the Eras Tour show twice in New Jersey, and will be at both shows at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

So when Alexis Greenberg advises Swifties to take a bathroom break during “All Too Well,” she knows what she’s talking about. Last fall she founded the Swift Society fan club at the University of Kansas and this week she’s taking her younger sister to her first Taylor Swift concert.

There is extra hype around the Kansas City shows because Swift will release her album “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)“ on Friday — expected at 11 p.m. Thursday Central Time — setting up expectations for something special for Kansas City fans.

“Maybe there will be a surprise announcement like a music video. Or maybe we’ll get a set list change because of the new album,” Greenberg said.

Her advice for having the best concert experience is straightforward: ”Wear comfortable shoes. Definitely comfortable clothes. Even if you want cute pictures, try to make sure you’re comfortable. So you can really live in the moment.”

The moment in this case is more than three hours long: Swift usually takes the stage right before 8 p.m. and sings until about 11:30 p.m., Greenberg said.

The parking lots will open at 2:30 p.m. for both concerts, the Kansas City Police Department announced Wednesday. The gates to the stadium will open at 4:30 p.m. Opening acts are set to take the stage at 6:30 p.m.

Here is Greenberg’s insider intel on how Swift’s fans can make the most of the next few days — how to save on the merchandise, when to get to Arrowhead, when to take breaks during the show, where Swifties dream of seeing Swift on Friday morning and how you might want to linger on the way out of the stadium.

“Immediately after the show the stadium speakers start playing Taylor Swift,” Greenberg said. “So on your whole walk out to the car people are still singing and celebrating and having a really good time.”

Alexis Greenberg, 18, of Overland Park is the president of the KU Swift Society fan group. The die-hard Swiftie has already seen the Eras Tour show twice and will attend both Arrowhead shows.
Alexis Greenberg, 18, of Overland Park is the president of the KU Swift Society fan group. The die-hard Swiftie has already seen the Eras Tour show twice and will attend both Arrowhead shows.

Newbies: Watch ‘Miss Americana’ first

Greenberg says newbies should prepare by watching the 2020 Swift documentary “Miss Americana” on Netflix. Or, listen to a Spotify playlist of songs she plays on the tour “and if one catches your (ear) you can do a little bit of reading about it.”

Also, lots of TikTok users are creating Taylor Swift “classes” for first-timers.

“But I think that you don’t have to know every song and you don’t have to know everything about her. And I’m not one to gatekeep. I know there are definitely Swifties who are going to say ‘you don’t deserve to be there, this and that.’

“Don’t listen to them. Everybody deserves to go to the show. And everybody deserves to have fun and have an Eras Tour moment and you just enjoy it however you want.”

Alexis Greenberg of Overland Park, the president of the KU Swift Society, collects memorabilia and wrote a book about the pop icon.
Alexis Greenberg of Overland Park, the president of the KU Swift Society, collects memorabilia and wrote a book about the pop icon.

Taylor at Target??

Swifties across the country are planning parties to mark the debut of Swift’s re-release, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).“ Target shoppers can expect to witness a Swiftie tradition on Friday.

“So usually Swifties go to Target the morning after an album release to buy a CD or a vinyl and take pictures with the fancy cardboard stands that Target usually has for releases,” Greenberg said.

Unlike at the concerts, fans don’t line up hours before the store doors open, she said. “They’re almost, guaranteed, not going to run out of CDs. But it’s always fun to go say hi to other Swifties. Everyone will be getting excited for the concert.

“And Taylor has been known to show up at Target to buy her own album. And she will be in Kansas City that day. So is it possible she shows up? I don’t think so because she hasn’t bought her last few albums at Target. But if you’re trying to spot Taylor, you can go to Target and see what happens.”

Merchandise like clothing and posters is expected to go on sale Thursday in the Arrowhead parking lot.
Merchandise like clothing and posters is expected to go on sale Thursday in the Arrowhead parking lot.

Buy your merch early

A truck full of Eras Tour merchandise will be open in Lot M at Arrowhead from Thursday to Saturday.

On Thursday, access to the parking lots is free and open to the public. They will open at 8 a.m., and the merchandise truck will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. No overnight parking or lining up is permitted.

On Friday and Saturday, the day of the concerts, the merchandise truck will only be open to people who have parking passes and tickets for that night’s show, starting at 2:30 p.m.

Merchandise will also be sold at more than 15 locations inside the stadium during the concerts. But the merch truck is a great place to load up, said Greenberg.

There’s exclusive merchandise only sold outside the venue. So, for instance, if you’re looking for the blue crew neck everybody keeps talking about, “don’t enter the stadium until you’ve brought it outside because it’s not inside,” Greenberg said.

(How much is the merch? A sampling: hoodies, $75; crew necks, $65; long-sleeve T-shirts, $55; short-sleeved T-shirts, $45; show posters, $35, glow baton, $15.)

You do have to drive all the way out to the stadium for this early sale, she said. “But the lines are usually shorter than they are during the actual concert. So if you want to buy merch definitely go out there. They’ll have more sizes and things like that if you go the day before.”

Other tips from recent merch sales:

Only cashless payments are accepted. Take credit and debit cards. (Greenberg speaks from experience: Bring multiple forms of payment in case your cellphone payment or card is declined.)

Lines could be long, so be a true Swiftie — be willing to hold someone’s place in line if they need a bathroom break.

Devoted Swifties like Alexis Greenberg collect confetti that rains down on concert crowds.
Devoted Swifties like Alexis Greenberg collect confetti that rains down on concert crowds.

Watch for coupon codes later

“There’s shirts and hoodies and blankets and posters, and she’s selling some bracelets as well that I believe are $25, water bottles. … There’s almost anything you can imagine they put her logo on,” said Greenberg.

“But I think that a good piece of advice would be to look on her store website ( and see what kind of merchandise you could buy there. Because after the show, you get an email with a discount code for 15% off. So it might be worth waiting to buy it online. See what’s exclusive to the actual show and see what you could just buy online afterwards.”

Get there early

“So I know some people are having Taylor-gates and hanging out in the parking lot beforehand,” Greenberg said.

“Some people just want a good spot so they’re able to get out of the parking lot faster. It really depends on who’s going with you and what you want to see. The first opener is at 6:30. So if you’re a Gracie Abrams fan or Muna fan, definitely get there on the earlier side, maybe 5:30.

“Some of the culture in the parking lot is bringing food and just having a party in your car, going and getting merch and bringing it back to your car so that you don’t have to carry it around the whole show. That’s a really good piece of advice that I did not follow in New Jersey. I was carrying four CDs and a water bottle around which was, you know, not ideal because you’re trying to dance and move around.”

About that bag

The concert follows the NFL’s safety rules that limit the size and type of bag allowed in the stadium. You can carry:

One-gallon clear zip-seal bag, like a Ziploc bag

Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12-by-12-by 6 inches. Greenberg said some people might want to decorate their bags, “but if the material itself isn’t see-through, they won’t let you in with that.”

Exceptions are made for medically necessary items after inspection.

What can you bring inside Arrowhead for Taylor Swift concerts? What to know before KC shows

What about rain?

The latest forecast holds the possibility of scattered thunderstorms both Friday and Saturday nights.

Swifites in rain? They shake it off. “Rain shows are kind of iconic in most fan cultures, especially Taylor Swift,” Greenberg said.

The first rainy show of the Eras tour was almost canceled in May when the downpour in Nashville did not relent. The concert was postponed two hours and Swift performed way past 1:30 a.m., tweeting later: “The dancers, band, crowd and I all pretty much turned into little kids joyfully jumping in puddles all night.”

“She did have to postpone a show a few weeks ago because of rain. But I think it’s so fun to kind of sing her song about being in the rain in your best dress (‘Fearless’),” said Greenberg.

“So I think that for me, I’m so gonna go if it’s raining and I think many people will as well. She’s selling rain ponchos on her website. So you could buy a Taylor Swift rain poncho …but packing a little emergency poncho is a good way to not get your outfit ruined.

“But I’m not super-concerned about the weather because I think she makes it fun and engaging no matter if it’s raining or not.”

Stay safe: Drink water

Swift fans get so overwrought at the concerts that some have vomited, suffered anxiety attacks and passed out.

“There have been a lot of people having issues while at the show because it is a really long show … it goes really late into the night,” Greenberg said.

“So I think the No. 1 piece of advice I have is listen to your body, right? If you are all of a sudden super-thirsty, go buy water.

“It’s OK to miss one or two songs. You’ll be able to hear it from anywhere in the stadium. Even if you’re in the bathroom, the whole girls bathroom is singing along to the songs.”

Fans are allowed to take in water bottles that are factory-sealed and weigh 20 ounces or less. No food or beverages are allowed in. (Though Greenberg has seen fans walk in with granola bars.)

“I definitely think that eating and drinking is really important and helps prevent heatstroke and helps prevent fainting,” she said. “And I know that it’s really exciting to get ready and go and you don’t have like a ton of time to eat dinner. But just pack a little peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the car ride over and keep some snacks in your car for afterwards in case of traffic jams.

“And take some sitting breaks when you need to so you can stay safe.”

Take. Potty. Breaks

At a show that runs more than four hours, “you’re gonna have to use the bathroom, you’re gonna have to grab food,” Greenberg said. “My favorite time is during ‘All Too Well,’ the 10-minute version.

“I know a lot of people really, really love that song and so they want to stay and listen to it. Totally fine. But for me, I heard it the first show and so I felt like it’s OK if I miss it the second night and I ran to get merch and all the lines were short.

“But there’s also transitions between every album that … are about a minute to a minute-and-a-half long so you should be able to run and get to the bathroom as fast as possible the second that you know (she played) the last song on that album.

The website SetlistFM has the set list for each show, which can hep you decide “which songs you’re willing to miss,” she said. “Or, you know, if a certain album is your least favorite and you don’t really mind missing out, that’s a good time to go grab some merchandise.”