“Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it,” Taylor Swift sings in the song “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” from the album Midnights. Taylor speaks and Swifties listen. Eras Tour attendees have been making beaded bracelets to wear and trade with each other at the shows.
“One attendee in Chicago brought a gallon-sized Ziploc bag full of the accessories to hand out to those around her.” (Hollywood Reporter) Letter beads have been used to quote famous lyrics or sayings, like “Eras Tour” of course, or “It’s Me, Hi” or my favorite “Fuck Ticketmaster.”
The bracelets serve as a clever way to avoid long lines for expensive merch while still having a souvenir from the experience. Also, they’ve fostered bonding between fans. “It’s almost nicer that I get to take home an arm full of handmade bracelets from the friends I’ve made tonight,” one concertgoer said.
Celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Max Greenfield (New Girl) have observed the ritual as well.
“Epic night,” Garner wrote in the caption of an Instagram post where she also praised Swift for her “generosity of spirit, ferocity and stamina.”
Max Greenfield posted a carousel of photos including one of his dog wearing a “RED” bracelet.
Apparently, security guards, cashiers, bartenders, and other staff have also been collecting the keepsakes, sometimes seen with both arms covered up to the elbows.
And for those who don’t want to make the bracelets on their own, Etsy shops like Pigtails and Pixidust will do it for them. Jamie Thompkins, full-time events manager, part-time bracelet maker, told CNN that she’s sold over 5,000 Swiftie bracelets, roughly $16,000 in sales.
There are three products listed on Thompkins’s Etsy right now: two different styles of Taylor Swift friendship bracelet 5-packs for $15, and one Barbie friendship bracelet 4-pack for $12.
It’s the summer of girly monoculture, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.