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Taylor Swift Concert Triggers Mixed Messages

Santa Clara Council Member Kathy Watanabe is breaking from the City line to urge Taylor Swift fans to show up for their favorite artist.

Last week, police issued details about what would and would not be allowed for concertgoers. While the issue of friendship bracelets was quickly resolved, other issues such as tailgating or “Taygating” as Swift fans call it, were not.

Oftentimes, unticketed Taylor Swift fans will gather outside of a stadium to singalong with the concert. But, the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD), working along side the Levi’s Stadium Management Company (ManCo), says it’s a public safety risk.


But District 1 Council Member Watanabe has done a full-court media press to try and pressure a change.

“We’re talking about public streets – so you cannot control people not being able to come and stand on a public street,” Watanabe told NBC Bay Area earlier this week. “So, they’re welcome to come.”

Watanabe, posted on her Facebook page on July 25, that she stands by the comments.

“My position on this issue hasn’t changed. Why are there two standards regarding tailgating with football fans v. young ladies just wanting to enjoy the music of their favorite artist?” wrote Watanabe.

As expected, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor jumped in and made it “Our Song.” She supported Watanabe on Twitter. On July 25, Gillmor tweeted out her thanks to Watanabe for speaking up and re-tweeted the comments Watanabe made to NBC.

However, the comments made by Gillmor and Watanabe seem to contradict the message the City is sending.

On July 26, the City reiterated its stance that streets will remain closed to the public. Tasman Drive between Great America Parkway and Lick Mill Boulevard will be closed from Friday morning to Sunday morning. During that time, only authorized personnel and vehicles will be allowed on the roadway.

“There will be no designated areas for non-ticket holding fans and any obstruction of roadways or sidewalks, such as chairs, tents and tables, will not be allowed,” said a City spokesperson. “We urge non-ticketed fans to not travel to Levi’s Stadium on either of the concert nights. By doing so, we can ensure the steady flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic surrounding the concert venue as well as allowing for clear access for emergency vehicles.”


  1. Jim 9 months ago

    The Taylor Swift concerts (OK, one down and one to go as of 9:15am 7/29/23) show the political hyprocricy of Watanabe. Football bad, Swift good, and I assume that money made from this event is “not tainted”. I understand the Friday night event went into “overtime”. I didn’t hear any excessive or offensive noise, OK, the fireworks. Big deal. To our mayor of hate and her coven, the sky didn’t fall, there was no earthquake and no rain, so – learn to live with a money making stadium.

    • CSC 9 months ago

      Common sense statement that other people with common-sense share with you, Jim! Taylor Swift’s second show again broke curfew and it also broke VTA ridership records which provided much needed revenue to a transportation system that has been on a decline. On average, daily ridership is 10,700 – the Swifties numbered 23,400 which was also double the number of Super Bowl 50 ridership. BART helped by extending hours to accomodate fans. This type of cooperation is a good sign ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup that is coming to Santa Clara. According to KTVU, SCPD claims no complaints were lodged on either Friday or Saturday night about noise.
      Hopefully the Santa Clara City Council will stop bickering about Levi’s stadium. It’s a $1.2B revenue generator that is quickly paying down its debt and providing additional income to local workers.

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