Is six too young to go to a Taylor Swift stadium gig – even to see your idol?

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I’m old enough to remember the days before Ticketmaster existed. If we wanted to go to a gig we either queued up at the venue, or sent a postal order or cheque to a mailbox.

Booking fees were counted on pennies, and the only secondary ticket sale was a bloke called Dave who had a pony tail and a shift look as he hung around the front door, talking out of the side of his mouth. “Tickets, buying or selling, tickets here…”

Dave is still in the trade and, ironically, is probably more trusted than Ticketmaster and Live Nation who have sent ticket prices spring with the utter con of dynamic pricing - the very definition of exploiting FOMO (the fear of missing out) - and turned the whole process into a ridiculously frustrating, time consuming mess.

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Taylor Swift fans are simply the latest to wail in anguish at not getting tickets after 17 hours in a queue, and then turning to the rip-off secondary sales sites where they easy meat for sellers who happily slap a zero or two on the price and cash out quickly.

Taylor Swift  on the first night of her "Eras Tour" (Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP)Taylor Swift  on the first night of her "Eras Tour" (Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP)
Taylor Swift on the first night of her "Eras Tour" (Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP)

Demand for her tour was phenomenal, and we all know that there isn’t a website on existence that can cope with such pressure. Given the demographic of her fan base, much of the wailing has had a very childlike pitch, sparking parents into full outraged mode.

It’s easy to say it’s only a gig, but if you’re a devout Swiftie then this is as big as it gets, so I’ll cut them some slack. Where I do wonder if we have things slightly out of kilter is reading about folk with six year olds howling at not getting to see her live.

Six? At that age the only ‘gig’ I ever saw was Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline, and that was a) big enough and ) scary enough for this wee mite. Imagine 300 kids pumped full of Smarties, running riot while the film was on and screaming from start to finish …

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Stadium gigs are huge in every sense. Crowds are vast and quite daunting - I’m far from convinced they are suitable for someone so young. For every kid who will soak up the atmosphere, I bet there are dozens who find the build-up boring, the show too long, and end up wrapped round their mum or dad long before the encore.

I was at Hyde Park in London for three days last month. At Billy Joel, the family in front kept their daughter amused in the searing heat, but by the time he came on she was restless, and alternated between kicking her dad, annoying her mum or curling up on their blanket. The £100 ticket would have been better spent on a babysitter and a decent night out.

At Springsteen, I spotted a young boy on his dad’s shoulders, slap bang in the middle of a huge crowd. He was ‘in the moment’ arms raised, conducting the band. He might have been eight - so the age they are old enough to fully appreciate the gig, and be able to cope with the scale of it, well that’s a call only parents can make. Sometimes a DVD is just as good...