“Take the Moment and Taste it”: Living in the Moment at Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” by guest, Lilly Grace

Lilly showing off her fan project bracelets!

Lilly Grace, a long-time Runoia camper and staff member who is celebrating her 10th summer at Runoia in 2023, joins us as a guest blogger to share all about living in the moment at T-Swift’s The Eras Tour, and how she got that ability from all of her time at camp:

Since the middle of March, Swifties all around the country (including many people in our Runoia community) have been traveling from near and far to see Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” in stadiums all around the United States. A few weekends ago, I myself had the privilege of being able to see Taylor in concert for her May 21 performance at Gillette Stadium, which was something I had been looking forward to since November when I was lucky enough to secure tickets. Something unique about this tour is that it is Swift’s first tour since the pandemic, a time in which our world became even more reliant on digital technology, particularly live streaming and social media platforms. In preparing for the concert, being able to communicate through social media with fans around the country about tips and tricks was very helpful. Had it not been for social media platforms, I would not have known about essential details regarding the concert such as ideal times to arrive at the stadium or what to wear. Additionally, I never would have learned about the Eras Tour Fan project, which involved making and trading Taylor Swift-themed friendship bracelets inside the stadium with other fans, which was one of my favorite parts about the whole experience. 

Lilly and Amy, long-time Runoia friends, at the Eras Tour together

With that being said, there are always negative parts of social media presence as well. One of my biggest concerns leading up to the concert was that I would be stuck behind one of the hundreds of fans who were livestreaming the entire concert to their social media followers, and obstructing the view of those around them. This may sound like a silly concern to anyone who does not go to concerts often, but as a frequent concertgoer, I can verify that it has become a genuine problem and has impacted my experience at way too many concerts in the past year. While I am the first to admit that I can barely go anywhere without my smartphone, one of my biggest pet peeves is being around people who are not even willing to take a step away from their technology to live in the moment, and I fully expected and prepared myself to experience this at Taylor Swift’s concert. However, I was so pleasantly surprised by how Swifities in my section and throughout the stadium were actually able to put down their phones and enjoy watching the show live. While many people, including me, were still recording their favorite parts of the show so they could rewatch them later, fans seemed less focused on getting the perfect video and were constantly looking up from their devices to actually take in the experience around them. In addition to the show itself, I noticed fans were fully embracing every moment of the experience from the minute we got to the stadium, which is so rare at concerts nowadays. Between supporting the opening acts, trading friendship bracelets, and bonding over their equally difficult experiences getting tickets, most fans were clearly making an active effort to stay off of their phones, live in the moment, and make genuine connections with those around them. As I looked around my section of the stadium during the show, my heart filled as I realized that the number of fans cheering, singing their hearts out, dancing along to the music and fully embracing each moment of the 3 ½ hour show clearly outnumbered the fans who were focused on recording every song. In this sense, this experience in Gillette Stadium reminded me a lot of Camp Runoia, a place where nearly every memory I have made for the past 10 years has been, and will continue to be, without the assistance of video footage.

 Throughout the summer at camp, there are always so many fun moments that we want to capture and remember forever, from the annual relay race through all of camp on the Fourth of July, to the anticipation of watching as a random staff member reveals the final scores for the B’s and E’s competition on the last night of camp. If we had our phones available, we would probably want to capture as many of these unforgettable moments as possible. However, being able to form memories through experience is not only a life long skill that campers build on at camp, but something that I value about the camp experience every year. There are very few places now, aside from summer camps, where kids and adults alike can break free from the burden of technology and just embrace living in the moment with those around you. So, experiencing that unique sense of community outside of camp at a concert, where the unifying factor was not trying to get the perfect video for social media but rather radiating a collective sense of love and appreciation for an incredibly talented artist, was so special and an experience I will never forget. 

As we get closer to opening day at camp, I am already getting so excited and counting down the days until I get to hear from all of the Runoia Swifties about their eras tour adventures, not through videos and pictures but rather through their own recollection of unforgettable memories!


the best coincidence – Lilly and Amy ran into two other Runoia gals – Izzy and Vanessa!
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