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The hits that set off earthquake monitors by dancing Scottish "Swifties"

Fans at Taylor Swift’s Scotland concerts last weekend danced so hard they set off earthquake monitors, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

Seismic activity was recorded up to six kilometres away during the three gigs last Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium, with some of her biggest songs causing spikes in activity every night.

“Honestly, it was the most magical and wonderful night,” said Lindsay Hempenstall who was at the Eras gig on Friday.

“A stadium full of complete love and joy, singing at the top of our lungs and sharing it all with more than 70,000 other people and my nine-year-old daughter.”

Friday night is thought to be the most highly attended show in Scottish history, which Swift described as the “wildest way to welcome a lass to your city”.

Seismograph showing ground velocity recorded 4km from the stadium and (bottom) spectrograph showing the power at each frequency (in BPM) during the concert on 7 June 2024. Pic: BGS
Seismograph showing ground velocity recorded 4km from the stadium and (bottom) spectrograph showing the power at each frequency (in BPM) during the concert on 7 June 2024. Pic: BGS

Fans dancing in time to the music was the main cause of the seismic activity, which reached its peak during the song …Ready For It? on all three nights.

Read more: How the Swift effect left its mark on Edinburgh

At that point, “Swifties” were transmitting enough power through their dancing and stomping to charge 6,000 car batteries, that’s around 80 kilowatts, according to BGS.

“Clearly Scotland’s reputation for providing some of the most enthusiastic audiences remains intact!” said BGS seismologist Callum Harrison.

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‘Wildest way to welcome a lass’.

Smash hits Cruel Summer, Champagne Problems and Shake It Off also triggered significant activity across the three gigs. Bethan Bryan was there on Saturday night and chose Shake It Off as her favourite song of the night.

“It was fantastically loud!” she said. “It was amazing to hear everyone sing along. 73,000 people singing for three and a half hours – everyone was so happy.”

“[My daughter] and I enjoyed singing along from the window on Friday night,” she added. “We live about 1.5 miles away and Taylor was as clear as a bell!”

Taylor Swift performs on stage during her Eras Tour at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Picture date: Friday June 7, 2024. Pic: PA
Swifties at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Friday 7 June, 2024. Pic: PA

Although only by a small margin, Friday night was the most energetic gig, when Swifties moved the ground by 23.4nm.

Even Beyonce, Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen couldn’t compete with the movement generated by Swift’s fans.

Read more: Taylor Swift’s Scotland shows in pictures

Although the three superstars’ Edinburgh gigs in May 2023 registered on earthquake monitors, they were beaten by dancing Swifties by almost 10 nanometres (nm) of movement.

Swift performed tonight at the Murrayfield Stadium. Pic: PA
Swift on stage at the Murrayfield Stadium. Pic: PA

“It’s amazing that we’ve been able to measure the reaction of thousands of concert goers remotely through our data,” said Mr Harrison.

“The opportunity to explore a seismic activity created by a different kind of phenomenon has been a thrill.”

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Although the concerts were detected by BGS’s instruments, the vibrations were unlikely to have been felt by anyone other that those in the immediate vicinity, according to the organisation.

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Swift’s 15 UK shows are predicted to boost the UK economy by almost £1bn with fans shelling out not only on tickets, but accommodation, travel, and pre-show parties.

Although the Scotland section of her tour is finished, Swift is heading south, arriving in Liverpool on Thursday, then Cardiff and ending in London’s Wembley Stadium for eight nights in total later this month and in August.


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