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Lover Fest

Cancelled | 2020

“Lover Fest” was Taylor’s planned sixth concert tour and first music festival tour, in support of her seventh studio album, Lover (2019). It was originally set to begin on April 5, 2020, in Atlanta and conclude in Foxborough on August 1 of the same year. In April 2020, following growing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, all festival dates were cancelled, while the stadium shows in Brazil and the United States were postponed to 2021. On February 26, 2021, all the remaining dates were cancelled.
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Background and Development

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest on August 27, 2019, four days after the release of Lover, Taylor explained that she was not yet sure of her plans for a tour in support of the album, and stated that she did not want her life to become a constant cycle of releasing an album and immediately touring after release. She later hinted in an interview with Zane Lowe in October that family health obligations prevented her from organizing and embarking on a larger-scale tour. “Lover Fest” was eventually announced through Taylor’s social media and website on September 17, 2019. She said:

«The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. I want to go to some places I haven't been and play festivals. Where we didn't have festivals, we made some.»

Original Tour Dates

Twelve dates were initially announced, with appearances at festivals and her own shows, with UK and additional international dates to be announced. The July 18, 2020, concert in São Paulo was set to be Taylor’s first official show ever in both Brazil and the continent of South America. Tickets for the show went on sale on October 25, with more than 100,000 people reportedly queuing online to get tickets, selling out in around 12 hours. Due to overwhelming demand, a second show was added.

The tour was also set be Taylor’s first visits to Denmark, Poland, and Portugal. The show in Berlin was supposed mark her first show in the city in six years since “The RED Tour” and her first show in Germany in five years since “The 1989 World Tour“. It sold out seconds after officially going on sale. On October 29, it was announced that Taylor would also be performing in Spain. The festival shows in Belgium, Norway, France, and Spain would have marked her first performances in each country in nine years since the “Speak Now World Tour“.

In early December 2019, Taylor announced that she would be headlining British Summer Time in London on July 11, 2020, becoming her second time headlining the festival with the first being five years prior, incorporated as part of “The 1989 World Tour”. In mid-December, after much speculation, Taylor was also confirmed as the headliner for the Glastonbury Festival — one of the world’s biggest music festivals — on its 50th anniversary in June 2020. She was set to become just the sixth solo female artist to headline in the festival’s history. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival was cancelled.

Covid-19 Cancellations

By mid-April 2020, many of the festival organizers had cancelled events Taylor was scheduled to participate in due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Taylor then announced on April 17 that she would not go forward with the tour until at least 2021, nor would she perform live in any venue for the remainder of 2020.

Final Cancellation

On February 26, 2021, Taylor announced that “Lover Fest” had been canceled and would not be rescheduled. In a social media post she said:

«This is an unprecedented pandemic that has changed everyone's plans and no one knows what the touring landscape is going to look like in the near future. I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to see you in person as soon as I wanted to. I miss you terribly and can't wait til we can all safely be at shows together again.»

What Could Have Been

One positive thing that Taylor took away from getting “Lover Fest” cancelled is that she was able to acknowledge the creative work that goes into planning a live show, which she had never seen much value in before:

«When I plan a live show, I’m writing interstitial music, I’m planning like, ‘This set piece goes off and this one goes on, while we distract them over here. And this song calls for this, and this song calls for that.’ That’s all creating. And I don’t think I assigned very much merit to the fact that that is creating, when you’re taking music you have already made. You are choreographing and setting up a live spectacle that is taking up so much emotional, creative and imagination-based bandwidth in your brain. As musicians we’re so used to immediately touring, immediately putting together the show, immediately going into rehearsals. And then we always feel that we need a significant gap of time where we get to rest afterward. I guess I learned that when we’re on the road it’s not just that we’re sweating, and we’re meeting a million people, and we have all this back and forth of energy. It’s also the creation of the show itself that is taking up a lot of your brain space.»

Touring Lover would have been a “communal, joyous” experience, Taylor told Zane Lowe in an interview in December 2020. It would have been a lot of fun for her to bring that album to life and the tour was set to break a few records along the way. Taylor’s performances at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California were planned to be the stadium’s debut event, and she would have been the first woman to open an NFL stadium. She would have also been the only woman to headline Glastonbury in 2020 and the sixth solo female artist to do so in the festival’s fifty-year history until the event was cancelled on March 18, 2020, due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.