Music

City in Germany Temporarily Renames Itself ‘Swiftkirchen’ Ahead of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Stops

One city in Germany is getting ready to say “Guten tag!” to Taylor Swift, with officials moving to temporarily rename Gelsenkirchen “Swiftkirchen” in honor of the pop star’s upcoming trio of Eras Tour shows in the locale.

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According to an announcement on the city’s website Tuesday (July 2), Gelsenkirchen is already transforming a full two weeks ahead of Swift’s performances at Veltins-Arena July 17-19. The name change was first suggested by a young local fan named Aleshanee Westhoff — who started a petition and wrote directly to Mayor Karin Welge — so she got to do the honors of erecting the first “Swiftkirchen” sign on Ebertstraße, a street in town.

The city will continue installing similar signs in highly frequented parts of Gelsenkirchen. Plus, a so-called “Taylor Swift tram” is already up and running through the area, and the “Anti-Hero” singer will receive a colorful stone on Gelsenkirchen’s official Walk of Fame.

“It’s a great idea to temporarily rename Gelsenkirchen to ‘Swiftkirchen,’ which is why I’m particularly pleased that you can experience the short-term ‘renaming’ of Gelsenkirchen live and up close in Gelsenkirchen today,” said Mayor Welge in a thank-you letter to Westhoff.

Swiftkirchen will also be complete with a series of “Taylor Town” festivities on the days of the pop star’s shows, featuring karaoke, a DJ set, a tattoo stand, marketplace and food and drink vendors. “As mayor, I am of course very happy that Taylor Swift, currently the most successful singer in the world, will be performing three times in Gelsenkirchen,” added Welge in a statement.

Gelsenkirchen isn’t the only city that’s gone all out for Swift’s Eras Tour visits in the past year-plus, nor is it the first to temporarily rename itself in her honor. Ahead of the 14-time Grammy winner’s kickoff performances in 2023, Glendale, Ariz., went by “Swift City,” while Minneapolis transformed into “Swiftie-apolis” and Santa Clara, Calif., was decreed “Swiftie Clara” that summer.

Swift still has a few more stops to make before she reaches Gelsenkirchen, starting with three nights in Amsterdam July 4-6. She’ll then perform two nights in Zürick followed by another duo of shows in Milan.

“I knew as soon as I saw the first Dublin crowd on Friday night that we were in for a wild weekend,” the superstar wrote on Instagram earlier this week following her most recent shows, which were in Ireland. “The spirit of those 3 glorious crowds embodied fun and joy and exuberance, and we just felt so lucky to be there. The Irish fans made us feel so at home, so welcome in every way. Still smiling thinking about it now.”

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