Every Taylor Swift fan has at least once jumped around to Shake It Off — but when over 72,000 Swifties dance together, the outcome is (literally) seismic.
When Swift, 33, performed two nights at Lumen Field in Seattle last weekend, she and her fans created seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3-magnitude earthquake, according to seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach.
The Seattle Times, which spoke to Caplan-Auerbach, reported the seismic activity persisted throughout the entirety of the singer’s three-and-a-half-hour concert. Both nights, the largest tremors came during Swift’s performances of Shake It Off and Blank Space — two fan favourites guaranteed to get the crowd moving.
Caplan-Auerbach has named the event the “Swift Quake.” She compared the seismic activity to the well-known “Beast Quake” of 2011, when Seattle Seahawks fans triggered seismic activity equivalent to a 2.0 magnitude earthquake while celebrating a touchdown from running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch.
The 0.3 increase from Swift’s concert made the event twice as strong as the “Beast Quake,” claimed Caplan-Auerbach.
Swift’s July 22 and July 23 shows were both sold out, with reportedly 72,171 concertgoers in attendance. Her Era Tour concert at Lumen broke a record previously set by the Irish band U2, who had 70,000 fans attend their show in 2011. Swift is also reportedly the first artist to sell out Lumen Field on consecutive nights.
Caplan-Auerbach said she captured the data from a seismometer located next to Lumen Field. She said the timing of the tremors caused by the Swift concert correlates to the artist’s set list from both nights. Though there was a 26-minute delay before the Sunday concert, the seismic activity from the concerts is similar when overlaid.
After the two shows, Swift thanked her fans on Instagram for “cheering, screaming, jumping, dancing, singing at the top of your lungs” with her in Seattle.
It cannot be said for certain whether the seismic activity was caused by soundwaves generated from a bass, subwoofers, jumping fans or a combination of factors.
Caplan-Auerbach and her colleagues have asked Swifties who attended either of the Seattle concerts to share videos and timestamps of the shows for a more fulsome understanding of the seismic event.
The team is continuing to research tremors and concerts — and appears to be especially excited for Beyoncé’s upcoming visit to Lumen Field in September.
Swift’s 52-date Eras Tour may gross a whopping US$620 million by its completion, according to Forbes.