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'I’m a Swiftie, and I’m proud of it': Victoria grandmother nabs Taylor Swift tickets

Linda Doctoroff, 76, is one of the lucky Taylor Swift fans who nabbed tickets to the singer-songwriter’s Vancouver shows next December.
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VICTORIA, B.C.: November, 10, 2023 - Photo of Linda Doctoroff with her 17 year old grand-daughter Aviva Isitt, at her home with her Taylor Swift tickets she was able to purchase. VICTORIA, B.C. November 10, 2023. (ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST). For City story by Roxanne Egan-Elliott.

Linda Doctoroff’s hands were shaking so badly Thursday as she input her credit card information to buy Taylor Swift tickets that she struggled to get the numbers right.

“I’m hitting the wrong keys. I’m just so nervous and my heart is going. I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” the Victoria resident said by phone Friday.

Doctoroff, 76, is one of the lucky Taylor Swift fans who nabbed tickets to the singer-songwriter’s Vancouver shows next December for herself, her granddaughter Aviva Isitt and Aviva’s friends. Tickets have been in high demand to see The Eras Tour, which started this spring and is a journey through Swift’s six albums.

Doctoroff said she and Aviva, 17, have been plotting to get Swift tickets for over a year. While the fangirling might have started with her granddaughter — who knows “every single lyric of every single song of every single album” — Doctoroff said she thinks Swift is a healthy role model for teenage girls and for grown women, like herself, sharing a message of empowerment, self-respect and kindness.

“I have to confess. I’m a Swiftie, and I’m proud of it,” she said.

Doctoroff knew just how slim the odds were to get tickets to one of Swift’s three Vancouver shows, having been shut out from tickets to previous shows in Seattle and Toronto. She had even considered making a trip to Poland if she could get tickets to a performance in Warsaw.

She cleared the first hurdle Wednesday, receiving an email letting her know she had been randomly selected to get a code to enter the ticket sales Thursday. Other fans, not so lucky, were put on the wait list.

Doctoroff prepared herself for the ticket sales the night before, checking out the seating map with Aviva to choose where they’d like to sit and deciding on a budget of up to $500 per ticket.

She cancelled her regular hike on PKOLS (Mount Douglas), so she could be at the computer in time for the first sale to open at 11 a.m.

She was prepared for the long haul with coffee and library books, expecting to wait hours for her turn to try for tickets.

Instead, she moved quickly through the queue, moving from 8,894th in line to the online sales room in 20 minutes.

“I was completely pumped,” she said.

It was a frenzy in the sales page, with seats disappearing as quickly as Doctoroff could click on them.

“I click once. I click twice. A box pops up. Guess what? These tickets aren’t available. This goes on and on and on and I start sweating. I am anxious like you wouldn’t believe,” she said.

At one point she managed to select four tickets, worth $1,000 each, and couldn’t figure out how to cancel them for something cheaper.

Eventually, after madly clicking for what she estimates was 15 minutes but felt like years, Doctoroff had four available seats selected.

“I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but there were four seats that I could buy,” she said.

After she completed the purchase, she realized she had bought three nosebleed seats for $200 each and one great seat in the lower bowl for $1,000.

Doctoroff said she doesn’t know what she’ll do with the prime seat, but there’s a year to figure it out.

After the ordeal, she turned to her daughter-in-law’s dog for cuddles to bring her adrenaline down.

“What’s the price I paid for these Taylor Swift tickets? At least 10 years off of my life. And I’m not a spring chicken,” Doctoroff said.

Lots of other fans, like Katrina Tran, weren’t as lucky.

Tran was put on the wait list Wednesday, but she was still hopeful she might squeeze in the sales on Thursday. She held her breath through three ticket releases at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tran isn’t quite ready to give up, however. She’s tuned into giveaways on X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit and is watching for a sale next week that’s open only to Canadian residents.

“Hope is not lost yet. We’ve still got fingers in a few pots,” she said.

For those who didn’t get tickets, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film gives viewers a glimpse of the tour with footage from a performance near Los Angeles.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com