Written by Camille White // Graphic by Makayla McDonald
The Eras deTour, a Taylor Swift listening party organized by Campus Life, took place Friday, Sept. 1, from 9 p.m. until midnight at the Anthony Wright Administration Building. The event was free and open to the public, with around 120 participants.
Campus Life encouraged students to dress in their best Eras Tour outfits. Three individuals were awarded the best dressed and received official Taylor Swift merchandise of their choice: sophomore Marah Davis and freshmen Jayda Mullins and Emma Ramsey.
Director of Campus Life Jane Chandler said she got the inspiration for the Eras deTour after seeing Taylor Swift in concert in April and going to a similar listening event in Little Rock this past May. Chandler said after the Eras deTour was approved by Harding, she checked with their entertainment contract to ensure they were not violating any copyright laws.
“A lot of people didn’t get to go to [The Eras Tour],” Chandler said. “And so, you can’t recreate it in person, but this is at least kind of the next best thing.”
While the Eras deTour was planned for Harding students, it was free for all. Chandler said after announcing the event, alumni and local high school students were interested in attending as well.
“You can kind of appreciate her at whatever stage [in life] you’re at,” Chandler said.
When people entered the Anthony Wright Administration Building, they were handed a glow stick bracelet. Additionally, they were given the opportunity to take photos at 10 photo booths, each representing a Taylor Swift era. In the auditorium, the overhead lights were turned off, but floor lights in different colors also represented each album.
“This event has made me just feel very pretty, and all the girls I have seen feel very pretty,” said freshman Bonnie Permenter. “And it’s just so fun to be able to show what we are interested in and make friends with it.”
Senior Brenley Colbert, sports engagement director for Campus Life, said she was excited that the community wanted to get involved.
“Campus Life is stepping up in such a direction, and we’re just very aware of what’s going on in the world and how we can kind of play to that,” Colbert said.
Colbert said Campus Life may host future listening parties for other famous musicians, depending on the feedback from the Eras deTour.