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Seismologists Have Ranked The Top Earthquakes Caused By Concert-Goers

Scientists and media people are talking about how big groups of excited fans at concerts can make the ground shake like an earthquake. This got a lot of attention when Taylor Swift went on her “Eras” concert tour. Her fans, called Swifties, caused shaking in different stadiums around the world. The Seismological Society of America (SSA) looked into this and compared it to other big events in music.

The “Swift Quake” happened in Seattle at Lumen Field on July 22, 2023. There were a lot of Swifties there, 72,171 to be exact, and they made the ground shake like a 2.3-magnitude earthquake. People started comparing this to the “Beast Quake” in 2011 when Seattle Seahawks fans did something similar. A scientist named Jackie Caplan-Auerbach studied both and found out that Swifties made even more shaking happen than Seahawks fans did.

Travis Scott’s show at the Circus Maximus in Rome on August 7, 2023, created what they called the “Scott Quake,” making a 1.3-magnitude earthquake. But some people got worried because the old venue might get damaged and even said maybe they shouldn’t have concerts there anymore.

At Tiger Stadium in Louisiana on April 30, 2022, Garth Brooks sang “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” and the ground shook enough for a nearby machine to notice, but nobody said how big it was. Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Barcelona in May 2016 and AC/DC’s show in Auckland in December 2015 also made the ground shake a lot, but they didn’t say exactly how much.

Research by the SSA analyzed Swift’s concert at LA’s SoFi Stadium on August 5, 2023, revealing that her song “Shake It Off” produced seismic signals equivalent to a magnitude 2 earthquake. The study attributed the tremors to the energetic movements of 70,000 dancing Swifties rather than the music itself.

Comparisons with other concerts at SoFi Stadium found Metallica’s performance to have the weakest seismic signals, possibly due to differences in fan movement, such as headbanging.

In terms of seismic impact, Taylor Swift and her dedicated fan base emerged as the clear winners, earning her a Guinness World Record for the greatest seismic activity caused by a music concert. Despite the strong showing by other artists and their fans, Swift’s ability to mobilize her audience to create seismic events set her apart in the world of stadium-shaking concerts.

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