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Swiftonomics, the Renaissance, and Barbie: How Hot Girl Summer Boosted the Economy

white woman with hot pink almond shaped nails holding a disco ball
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Have you been to the grocery store lately? Prices are insane! It’s a wonder we can afford to do anything in this economy… Luckily, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Barbie blessed the United States with one last “hot girl summer.” The girls and the gays are single-handedly propping up the economy to scrape the country from its inflation-induced hole. Sure, everything sucks, but we still deserve a little treat now and then (AKA $150+ concert tickets) to keep us from checking out of life early.

The Eras Tour

Starting with The Music Industry herself, Taylor Swift’s highly revered Eras Tour will go down as one of the most coveted shows in history. In fact, the Swifties destroyed Ticketmaster’s system trying to secure a spot in the stands, which sparked a court case against the predatory ticketing agency. Every stadium Swift visited for her now-concluded first leg of Eras sold out. Yet, fans still gathered outside the stadium to sing along.

If you want to snag a ticket secondhand from Stubhub or other resellers for any of these shows, don’t expect to pay less than $1,000. From exclusive merchandise to pricey Airbnbs, Swifties dumped plenty of their paychecks to subsidize one concert. Let’s not talk about how much they spent on glittery outfits and friendship bracelets. The Federal Reserve anticipates that Taylor Nation boosted the economy by at least $5 billion!

As one of the lucky attendees to Swift’s show at Chicago’s Soldier Field, I experienced Swiftonomics firsthand. Full transparency: I paid over $150 for upper-bowl, obstructed-view tickets (worth it). Then, I traveled 9 ½ hours from Little Rock to Chicago (654.8 mi) and paid well over $100 for gas. Including Airbnb costs, thrifting an outfit, and merchandise, the trip alone cost $500. Long story short, Swifties pay for more than tickets to make their Eras Tour experience complete. And if I had to wager, social media – particularly TikTok – takes credit for continually making Swift relevant enough to inspire this much consumer spending. 

Beyoncé’s Renaissance

Next, we can’t talk about concerts without doing a little history lesson. The Renaissance was the “rebirth” of European culture, art, politics, and economics… Just kidding. We know what you’re really here for. In our opinion, Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour is as impactful as its 16th-century inspiration. Swifties caused an uproar over ticket prices, but we wager to say that Queen Bey’s are even more shocking.

From $157 “listening-only” tickets to an average $700 price tag, the Beyhive isn’t playing around. Forbes reports that Beyoncé’s total earnings could topple Swift from her throne by $500 million. They theorize that “fans’ pent-up desire to attend in-person concerts at the end of a more than three-year pandemic” makes these estimations optimistic, though not unrealistic. They predict that the odds are in the Renaissance’s favor to be her “most lucrative concert tour” ever at $2 billion in revenue, even surpassing “all her previous concerts combined.” 

The Barbie Movie

This trifecta of girls powering the economy would only be complete with the plastic princess herself, Barbie! Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie marries humor and nostalgia to portray complex commentary on femininity and patriarchy. Fans ranging from 5 years old to 55 have drummed up hype for this film since the teaser trailer’s debut in 2022. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dominated social media during their press tour sporting Barbie-accurate outfits, further inspiring fans to buy tickets and invest in their very own pink personas for the premiere (and beyond). Sure, it’s not practical to dress up just to sit in a dark theater for an hour, but Barbie is about fun, not function! 

Instagram and TikTok further boosted demand for Barbie tickets and merchandise using the “Barbenheimer” trend. Released the same day as Barbie, Christopher Nolan’s dropped his highly-anticipated 3-hour biopic, Oppenheimer, centering the father of the atomic bomb. Fans couldn’t help but notice the drastic tonal difference between the films. It’s only natural that the hashtag #Barbenheimer started trending, with fans posting their “double feature” experience on July 21 (We suggest sitting for Oppenheimer first, then Barbie afterward as a palate cleanser).

Collectively, the duo raked in $500 million on opening weekend. Since release day, Barbie grossed over $567 million domestically compared to Oppenheimer‘s $285.2 million. Not only is Barbie the President and a doctor, but she also has the highest-grossing domestic release in Warner Bros. history! It’s a Barbie world, and we’re just living in it. 

Final Thoughts

Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Barbie amassed a growing total of $7 billion, and the mania’s far from over: Taylor Swift continues her tour throughout 2024, Renaissance ends in October 2023, and Barbie left theaters on August 19 for streaming. Never underestimate a woman’s impact on her environment. Long story short, the next time a finance bro tries to convince you that men hold all of the power in this country, remember that she’s Everything, and he’s Just Ken. 

Last modified on December 11th, 2023

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