Taylor Swift Concert and the public ride share night mare that followed
Taylor Swift wrapped up her two day concert stop at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara with a two hour spectacular show.
Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour played in front of 55,000 fans on Saturday night. Swift played her hits from throughout her career during the night.
The stage featured giant video screens that moved and changed throughout the concert. A Taylor Swift concert is not just about her music. It’s about the show too and this didn’t disappoint. There were fireworks, flames shooting from the top of the video screens, giant snakes and well choreographed dance routines.
There were two remote stages set up at the opposite end of the stadium that gave all the fans a close up view of the pop superstar. My wife and I were able to walk up and were within 10 of Swift as she performed.
It was apparent throughout the show the Swift has a genuine connection with her fans. Prior to her show, a video was played that showed Swift meeting with fans at various locations to give them a preview of her Reputation album before it was released last year. It’s something that Swift learned from her parents. They were in a special VIP booth right behind our seats. They greeted fans and danced to her songs.
At one point three young girls were standing on their chairs so they could see and security asked them to get down. Swift’s mom Anne reached over the railing and picked the girls up and had them join her in their booth the rest of the night. Later in the concert a mom came up to the booth with her disabled son in a wheelchair that was decorated and lit up. Anne Swift came out of her booth and spoke to the two for several minutes. I asked the mom if she wanted me to take a photo and she said yes. Then Anne Swift asked them to join her family in the booth.
The public transportation nightmare after the concert was something that I would like to forget. Keep in mind the concert ended at 10:50 pm. We stayed in a hotel two miles from the stadium. Like many people, we took Uber to the concert. Parking at the stadium was $50. In hindsight that would have been money well spent.
After the concert you are directed to go to Red Lot 7 to use Uber and Lyft. You would think it would be in stadium parking lot. It’s not. It’s a little over a 1/4 mile away, opposite direction from our hotel. We started heading that way and stopped at the Hyatt Regency where they had signs that said no public ride share pickups, yet we found ourselves with many others looking at our phones trying to summon Uber.
I told my wife we should just walk back to the hotel. Her feet were sore but we decided to try it. I used the walking directions on my iPhone which were not as accurate as driving. We headed the wrong way and walked about a 1/4 mile back towards the stadium but turned when we shouldn’t have. I realized we were not getting any closer. We stopped and came across others in the same boat. They said they were looking for lot 7 too.
At this point there are thousands of zombies walking and sitting, staring at their phones trying to summon the mystical Uber. Looking back it is actually quite a comical scene. People sitting on the curb staring at their phones. Some actually calling their Uber drivers. Vehicle traffic is at a near standstill. Some Uber drivers canceled their rides.
We finally got to Red Lot 7. 1/2 mile back the other way and farther from our hotel. You can see where this is going. This is the dedicated public ride share lot pickup. Hundreds if not thousands more zombies on their phones trying to get rides.
So by this time it is 12 am and we are now 2.3 miles from our hotel. I connected with Uber and it said there was a 25 minute wait. When it got to 18 minutes I got dropped. So by now we are both cranky. If your married or in a relationship, you know that’s not good. Her phone was dead. Mine had 8%. We decided to walk back to the hotel.
The thought of walking that far at midnight, after walking around for an hour was, let’s just say not well received by either of us. We started the slow walk home, passing the bodies of hundreds of zombies. Some in the fetal position, looking at their phones. At the 1.8 mile mark. We found a pedicab. It’s a guy on a bike pulling a two seater trailer. He said he would take us 1/2 mile closer to the hotel, $40. Yes please. “Hey how much for another 1/2 mile, $40. Okay sounds good.” That got us to 3/4 of a mile left. He wouldn’t go any farther. We slowly trudged back home. Arrival time, 1 am. Just over 2 hours after the concert ended. Had we walked straight home it would have been a 45 minute walk.
We didn’t see one taxi the whole time. Not one. Lesson learned. If there is a next time, either pay $50 to park, get a hotel closer and wear comfortable shoes. Do not rely on any public transportation. Thousands of people trying to use Uber and Lyft is nuts. I think there are probably still people waiting 12 hours later.