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Taylor Swift is heading down under – and Australian fans are facing the inevitable scramble as tickets go on sale.

The pop superstar announced Australian dates in early 2024 as part of her Eras tour, her first in five years. Initially she was to be performing three shows in Sydney and two in Melbourne – since then an extra show in each city has been announced.

Interest is immense. An initial release of VIP packages broke the Amex web page. Two days later Ticketek said fans set a new record with 4 million users online for the big release of “presale” tickets. It came after Ticketmaster halted ticket sales “due to extraordinarily high demands” for her US Eras tour dates which drew record-breaking crowds.

Here’s everything we know so far about where Swift is performing, how to get concert tickets and how much you can expect to pay for them.

When and where are the Taylor Swift concerts?

Swift will perform at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February 2024, and at Sydney’s Accor Stadium Friday 23, Saturday 24, Sunday 25 and Monday 26 February.

The stadium capacity at the MCG will be more than 100,000, while Accor has a capacity of 83,500.

Swift has not announced any dates in any other Australian cities, nor any New Zealand dates.

When are Taylor Swift tickets on sale or presale?

The first tickets went on sale via American Express Card presale on Monday, but they were limited to VIP packages selling for up to $1,249.90.

The Frontier Members presale tickets, which turned out to be most of the tickets for the then-announced shows, sold out on Wednesday 28 June.

Sales of the remaining tickets – for the two extra concerts in Melbourne and Sydney – will go live on Friday 30 June – and once again, they will start at 10am for Sydney shows and 2pm for Melbourne shows. Customers can buy a maximum of four tickets for each show.

How can I maximise my chances of getting a ticket?

Ticketek says queuing is a “necessary part of the process”, with a spokesperson calling it a “way of ensuring fair access to tickets for all fans”.

“Fans must remember to not leave the Lounge page or refresh their browser,” the spokesperson said. “The page will refresh itself frequently to let more fans through to purchase.

“Once fans are in the Lounge, they should sit tight and wait to be let through to the event page. And then once they’re through they need to remember to keep an eye on the timer and complete their purchase within the time frame.”

But there have been reports that this isn’t a “queue” as such, more a pool of waiting fans chosen randomly to receive tickets. So, the theory goes, if you log on at one minute to 10 in the morning you have the same chance as someone who’s been online since 4am. Guardian Australia has not confirmed this theory.

So desperate for Taylor Swift tickets I’m getting mum to go to mass to pray for me and my friends (I don’t have direct line to God that she has) (also don’t go to mass)

— Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) June 21, 2023

There have also been warnings against logging on from the same wifi network as your co-workers or family, given the theory that such users might be considers a single user from the Ticketek system’s point of view. Again, we can’t confirm this.

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How much will tickets cost?

Ticket prices range from $79.90 to $379.90.

VIP packages begin at $349.90 for the We Never Go Out of Style Package, which includes an E reserve ticket, and go up to $1,249.90 for the It’s Been a Long Time Coming Package, which includes an A reserve ticket.

What about ticket scalping and scams?

There are already ticket scalping websites saying they can guarantee tickets at inflated prices, says a Choice spokesperson, Jarni Blakkarly.

“The bigger the demand is, the bigger the ticket scalping is, the higher prices people are getting ripped off,” Blakkarly said. “I’m sure these tickets will sell out in a matter of minutes when they go on sale, and there’ll be thousands of fans who want tickets who aren’t able to get them.”

Blakkarly says Choice has heard of many cases where consumers have never received the tickets, have received fake tickets – and even been turned away at the venue.

The main way to avoid being scammed, Blakkarly says, is to buy tickets through the official ticket seller, which in this case is Ticketek.

If people do try to get resold tickets, “really high prices, unrealistic promises around ticket delivery or front-row seats should be a red flag”, Blakkarly says.

In Victoria the government has taken steps to prevent scalpers from reselling tickets at exorbitant prices.

The state minister for tourism, sport and major events, Steve Dimopoulos, announced on Tuesday afternoon that Melbourne concert would be now designated a “major event”, which activates a number of restrictions under Victoria’s anti-scalping laws. Guardian Australia has asked the New South Wales government what anti-scalping provisions it has in place.

According to Frontier Touring’s website, tickets will only be able to be accessed via Ticketek’s apps. No physical tickets will be available and the ticket barcode will activate just before the show.

Who will be supporting Swift?

Pop’s next big thing, Sabrina Carpenter, will tour with Swift as a special guest in all the Australian shows.

That doesn’t necessarily rule out other guests. Swift has been known to surprise audiences, for example by bringing out Ice Spice and Jack Antonoff at her New Jersey show last month.