CHICAGO — Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour is headed to Chicago — are you ready for it?
The megastar is scheduled to shake it off Friday-Sunday at Soldier Field, performing a three-hour retrospective of her 10-album discography with essentially no breaks. OWENN and girl in red will open the show Friday and Saturday, while MUNA and Gracie Abrams will kick off the festivities Sunday.
Swifties following the tour so far know all too well that planning ahead of time is crucial — from executing the best bejeweled outfit to figuring out transportation, bag policies and more.
Don’t have a cruel summer. Check out these tips and tricks to making your Eras Tour experience at Soldier Field live up to your wildest dreams.
Parking lots open 2 p.m., the doors to the show open 4:30 p.m. and opening acts take the stage about 6:30 p.m.
Based on the tour schedule so far, Taylor Swift tends to start her portion of the show about 7:50 p.m., and the set typically ends 11:15-11:30 p.m.
By car: Major roadways like I-55, I-90, I-90/94, and I-290 all lead directly to Soldier Field. Get specific directions here. Parking is very limited near Soldier Field, but you can reserve a spot in advance through the venue’s website. Lots vary in proximity to the stadium. Currently, rates for the event range from $15-$85, plus fees, when bought ahead of time.
Shuttle service for the event will also be provided from the Millennium Park Garage and McCormick Place Lot B. The shuttle will run beginning at 4 p.m. and end at 1 a.m.
By public transportation: Concertgoers would be wise to use the city’s public transportation systems to get to and from the stadium.
Swifties heading in from rural towns or the suburbs can use Metra and Amtrak trains to get to Downtown. Passenger trains will arrive at either Union Station or Ogilvie Transportation Center, depending on the train line. From there, attendees will need to either hail a taxi, summon a rideshare service or take the No. 130 Museum Campus bus. At Union Station, the rideshare pickup location is at Canal Street and Adams Street.
Concertgoers coming from the south suburbs can take the Metra Electric line to 18th Street, which drops off passengers just steps from Soldier Field.
Attendees can also take the CTA Red, Green or Orange Line trains to the Roosevelt Station, which drops riders off about 0.75 miles from the venue — about a 20-minute walk to the stadium. Alternatively, the No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express picks passengers up from the Roosevelt Station and drops them off at Soldier Field.
Travel tip: Park your vehicle at a Metra or Amtrak parking lot — or in a Chicago neighborhood — and take a train or bus to the stadium to avoid traffic and parking complications.
Taking the 146 bus from the Roosevelt Red Line, as well as just walking from the Roosevelt Red line.
Walking from the Roosevelt Station to Soldier Field.
By rideshare or taxi: People taking Ubers, Lyfts, or taxis to the show will be dropped off at the 18th Drive turnaround, which is just west of the stadium. There is a pedestrian walkway that leads directly to Soldier Field.
Rideshare/taxi drop-off at the 18th Drive turnaround just west of Lake Shore Drive. Also where 18th Street Metra is.
By bike: Bike racks are near Gate 14, by the Children’s Garden and behind the Kennedy Bas Relief. Bring a solid lock.
Tailgating at Soldier Field is allowed, with certain rules.
Traffic post-show will be chaotic; have patience.
Make sure to check Metra and Amtrak train times in advance, as many trains don’t run past 1 a.m. However, the CTA Red Line runs all night, though service tends to be more limited overnight.
If you are taking an Uber, Lyft or taxi after the show, the designated pickup area is at Balbo and Columbus drives for the first hour after the show. After one hour, rideshare pickup can be called to the stadium.
Rideshare/taxi pick-up after the show at Balbo and Columbus.
Travel tip: If you plan to use a Metra or CTA train or bus line, download the Ventra app (or download the Amtrak app for Amtrak trains) in advance and buy tickets there so you won’t have to wait in long lines at the stations.
Soldier Field abides by the NFL’s clear bag policy, which states the following:
- Only a clear, 12-by-6-by-12-inch bag is allowed. This is important, since the stadium won’t let any other kind of bag in. Fortunately, a quick Internet search will yield plenty of clear, concert venue-approved bags, since this policy is pretty standard now at large arenas.
- A 1-gallon clear plastic freezer bag, like a Ziplock, is also allowed.
- In addition to a clear plastic bag, a small clutch bag is OK. However, it can’t be bigger than 4.5 by 6.5 inches.
- If you do bring a prohibited style of bag, you can check it at lockers at the 18th Street Turnaround south of the venue along the walkway after passing through the tunnel under Lake Shore Drive.
- Diaper bags aren’t allowed, so diapers must be brought in within a clear bag, and one bag is allowed per person, including children.
Swifties know one of the biggest aspects of this tour has been acquiring merchandise. Fans can stop by Soldier Field before the concert for early merch sales 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday and starting noon on show days. Early merch stands will be outside Gates 3 and 4, along the sidewalk north of the Waldron Deck and at the Stadium Green.
You can also stay up to date with Swift’s merch truck by following @taylornation on Instagram, where you’ll likely get a notification asking if you’d like to join a broadcast channel. That channel will send direct messages to followers with information regarding the timing and location of the tour-themed merch bus.
However, there will also be merchandise stands throughout the stadium.
Tickets waiting at Will Call can be found at the large ticket booth across from Gate 10. A photo ID with a name matching the ticketholder’s is required for pickup.
What not to bring
According to Soldier Field, the following items are prohibited:
- Water bottles
- Standard purses
- Belt bags
- Fanny packs
- Cinch bags
- Diaper bags
- Mace/pepper spray
- vVdeo/movie cameras
- Confetti (don’t worry; it will be provided)
It’s probably best to keep the lavender haze at home — smoking cigarettes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, are prohibited in the stadium, and Soldier Field doesn’t allow re-entry.
Banners and signs are allowed, but they can’t obstruct the view of others or include any profanity, advertising or political slogans.
Want a better view? Standard binoculars are fine to bring, and cameras (without a case) are also OK. However, your camera must have a 6-inch or smaller lens.
Trying to decide what to wear? This tour has become known for fans’ expressive outfits; just make sure they don’t obstruct any views. And if you’re thinking of showcasing your best cosplay for “The Man,” leave the briefcase at home; it’s not allowed inside. Also make sure to wear comfortable shoes as the show lasts over three hours.
A cardigan may also be helpful, as the current forecast shows temperatures in the 70s. However, in Chicago, the weather can change at a moment’s notice, so make sure to keep checking the forecast.
Attendees may also want to opt for a poncho, as Swift has played at least two shows during rainstorms so far.
In Nashville, one show was delayed by a thunderstorm for about 4 hours before Swift took the stage to perform into the wee hours of the morning. The show at Soldier Field is expected to go on regardless of sunshine or midnight rain.
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