Organizers of the Formula One Grand Prix have recruited Taylor Swift for a pre-race concert that’s expected to pump thousands of dollars into Austin’s economy.
Instead of recruiting an artist that most racing fans are already fans of like Bon Jovi or Kiss, the Circuit of the Americas team are attempting to bring new interest to the race by luring in Swift’s young and dedicated fan base.
“The top performer in the world right now is Taylor Swift and she will perform on the Saturday before the race the following day,” COTA chairman Bobby Epstein told Forbes. “It will be a one-off show. Her only show in 2016. We think we can bring in 100,000 new people and put on the biggest show.”
Although organizers will not reveal the pop star’s performance price tag, it’s reported that amount is the highest-ever paid to an individual performer. This decision to invest in Swift comes shortly after the state of Texas reduced financial support for the event, leading many to wonder if the race would even happen in 2016. Now that the race is confirmed, only time will tell if this risky bet will pay off or cause a backlash from longtime Formula One fans.
“I think Formula One is great and people have to come and see it to realise that,” Epstein explains. “We could advertise that Formula One is coming to every person in the country but only a million people would care. However, a hundred million in the US know Taylor Swift.”
If you want to see Swift’s performance, you’ll need to buy a three-day Grand Prix pass, which varies in price from $150 to $1,300.