Want to purchase today’s print edition? Here’s a map of single-copy locations.
Sign up for our daily newsletter here
GIBSON CITY — Turns out Taylor Swift in concert is just as big a draw at a Ford County drive-in as it was over three days in June at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Within 48 hours of Gibson City’s Harvest Moon Drive-In putting tickets on sale for the pop phenom’s highly-anticipated concert film series next month, more than 1,100 were scooped up by fans.
Swift, whose $2 billion-grossing “Eras” tour has played at one sold-out U.S. arena after another since March, answered high demand from fans by adding a concert film that opens Oct. 13.
It will play on screens of big chains (AMC, including the Champaign location) and smalltown drive-ins, like the two-screen Harvest Moon (room for 1,200 to 2,000 people at a time).
“The team for Taylor Swift wanted it to go out to as many people as possible since there weren’t as many people able to make it to the stadiums because the shows were sold out,” said Harvest Moon co-owner Ben Harroun.
Harroun knew going in that Swift was a big deal. Ticket sales more than confirmed that.
All told, his drive-in will screen 14 performances, beginning on the second Friday of October. While Friday the 13th might appear more fitting for a pre-Halloween horror flick, the date was selected because “Taylor Swift’s lucky number is 13,” Harroun said.
The concert-film screenings will take place over four weekends. The first weekend will run Friday through Sunday. The latter showings will be held Thursday through Sunday.
Making things extra special the way only a drive-in theater can, there will be a number of bonus activities on the Harvest Moon grounds — from a dance party area and friendship-bracelet-making station to a fashion show where fans can show off their outfits.
“I guess people have specific outfits for these events,” Harroun said. “We’ll have an area where people can reveal their outfits and see themselves on the big screens.”
While both Gibson City screens will show the concert the first weekend, Swift will move to one screen for the final three weekends.
It is, after all, October.
“We will have a Halloween horror movie selection” up through Oct. 31, Harroun said.
Though unlikely to match the business boon that “Barbie” provided movie theaters indoors and outdoors since its July release — it “kind of universally saved” the industry, Harroun said — early forecasts have Swift’s concert series flirting with the $100 million mark during opening weekend.
“Eras” is Swift’s sixth concert tour. She has said it’s an homage to all 10 of her albums and includes 146 dates across five continents from March 17, 2023, to Nov. 23, 2024, in Toronto.