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Monday, May 27, 2024

Hampton Roads ‘Swifties’ Celebrate the Eras Tour at Nauticus

HAMPTON ROADS — “Swifties” from all over the Hampton Roads area came together on July 14 for an evening full of Taylor Swift music, friendship bracelet trading, and more during Swiftie Summer Night at Nauticus in Norfolk.

After dealing with the craziness of purchasing tickets for the Eras Tour, the crew at Nauticus wanted to encourage visitors to come aboard Battleship Wisconsin for a night of fun. Nauticus recently branded “Nauticus After Dark,” which allows guests to attend unique experiences, particularly for the 21-plus age group. With Swiftie Summer Nights, families of all ages could attend.

“We’ve seen such great success with the events we host on the ship. It’s such a unique space to hold events on and we wanted to offer an after-hours event that was family friendly. Our team started brainstorming and there is no one more popular right now than Taylor Swift,” Rehn West, Director of Development and Marketing at Nauticus, said.

Hosted on the fantail of the Battleship Wisconsin, Midnight Rain took the stage and played through all of the Taylor Swift eras, truly providing something to everyone. Janice Chandler, lead vocalist, even goes through costume changes to match the various eras of Swift’s songs.

“I really wanted to include all the eras in the Midnight Rain show to make it feel fun and memorable for everyone, no matter what era they are going through,” Chandler said.

During the Midnight Rain show, guests were treated to Taylor Swift-themed drinks and music from all of Swift’s eras. While the actual Eras Tour is large, Chandler enjoys playing Taylor Swift music in smaller venues.

“I love swapping friendship bracelets and the intimacy that comes with playing smaller shows compared to Taylor’s epic stadium tour, and I think the people who come out to the Midnight Rain show like that too! It’s a great way to share our love of everything Taylor Swift together,” Chandler said.

While the threat of severe weather moved the event indoors, it didn’t stop attendees from enjoying the music and camaraderie with fellow Taylor Swift fans. Georgia Wesseler was attending her first concert experience and enjoyed every second.

“I like the glitter and the light-up stuff and the bracelet trading,” Wesseler said.

Some in attendance had been Taylor Swift fans since her debut album. Samantha Twiford and Sydney Trewartha of Virginia Beach spent the evening together. Twiford said she is busy making memories this summer as she and Trewartha will attend different high schools next year.

“I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan forever and I kind of grew up on her music,” Twiford said. “When her Midnights album came out, I really felt a personal connection to her music,” Trewartha said.

Gianna Delisle and Rebecca Shafer of Chesapeake are just two neighborhood kids who attended the show. Usually found in a larger group of kids, both were excited to do something together.

“We got to come out here together,” Delisle said. “We don’t get to spend a lot of time together just us because we’re always with the other kids in the neighborhood. It’s special to have an experience between us,” Shafer said.

Through all the Taylor Swift music, concertgoers were busy dancing the night away, singing every word to every song. Due to its popularity, Nauticus hopes to host similar events in the future.

To stay current on future Nauticus After Dark events, visit nauticus.org.

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