Taylor Swift fans Wildest Dreams become reality

Taylor Swift Swiftposium Melbourne

Hosted by Federation Square in collaboration with the University of Melbourne (UoM), enthusiastic Taylor Swift fans gathered on February 11 for a panel discussion exploring the extraordinary influence the musician has had on feminism and the music industry.

As part of the UoM’s broader Swiftposium conference held between February 11 and 13, while most academic conferences “don’t tend to go viral”, the event gained such international attention that organisers decided to host the public event for excited Swifties to celebrate the countdown to her arrival in Melbourne for The Eras Tour.

“We did think it was really important to open up the space to fans,” Dr Jennifer Beckett said, one of the ‘masterminds’ behind Swiftposium.


“The job of universities is not just to create knowledge but to share it with everybody, and that means presenting it in ways like this that make it really easy for people to engage with – and who doesn’t want to talk about Taylor Swift?”.


Moderating the panel was self-proclaimed Swiftie Georgie Tunny, presenter on The Project and host of her own Taylor Swift podcast, Ready For It.

Joining her on-stage was award-winning composer and lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Kate Neal, artist manager and festival coordinator, Mahala Bond, and PhD student at RMIT, Kate Pattison.

The conversation spanned a variety of topics; from dissecting the intricacies of her fan engagement strategy, to pondering the legacy that Taylor Swift has left on emerging artists in a post-Taylor's version world.

“I think it’s important to not just hear from academics, but to have a really good cross-section of people with different types of experiences and lenses on similar questions,” Dr Beckett told CBD News.



The broader Swiftposium that unfolded over the three days saw academics from six universities across Australia and New Zealand attending the conference.

Attracting more than 400 submissions since first announced in September 2023, 130 were accepted for the conference from 78 academic institutions worldwide, covering 60 academic disciplines such as music, economics, business, media studies and health.

Swiftposium also presented the free Fanposium event at RMIT, which included a screening of the Miss Americana documentary at The Capitol cinema.

Across three consecutive nights on February 16, 17 and 18, the pop superstar enchanted audiences of more than 288,000 – making her Melbourne leg the largest crowds she has seen in her career so far, affectionately declaring the city the “love of my life”.

For fans who weren’t able to get tickets, crowds of more than 20,000 gathered “On The Other Side of the Door” of the stadium each night to sing, dance and trade friendship bracelets.

As Ms Swift makes her way to Sydney for the remaining Australian tour dates, Ms Beckett encourages fans to “enjoy your fandom” and “not be ashamed to be a fan of pop artists”.

“We would very much like to thank the Taylor Swift fans in Melbourne for getting on board and wanting to be a part of it,” she said.

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