For many Gainesville Swifties, their Saturday night went all too well.
A Taylor Swift-themed celebration for those at least 21 years old, was held at Downtown club The Wooly Saturday night. “You Need to Calm Down: A Taylor Swift Dance Party,” jammed on, blasting the entire discography of Taylor Swift’s music from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
About 400 people purchased tickets to the event, selling out within a few weeks of tickets being up online, said Courtney Gibson, 32-year-old CEO of Le Petite Fete, the touring company who hosted the dance party.
Attendees dressed in costumes from Swift’s music videos and pop culture moments. Only a handful wore masks.
Madison Bushloper, a 21-year-old UF nuclear engineering senior, dressed up in Swift’s pajama set from the 2009 music video “You Belong With Me,” complete with a pair of thick-rimmed, black glasses.
Bushloper sported a handmade, autographed white T-shirt that read, “Junior Jewels” along with plaid pajama pants.
She first listened to Swift when she was 11-years-old. Now, Bushloper enjoys listening to the country-pop artist’s old songs and reflecting on how much Swift has matured — as both a vocalist and a person.
“It's honestly kind of cool to see an artist that you watched when she was younger become an adult, while you're becoming an adult,” Bushloper said. “It makes the process of becoming an adult a little less scary.”
The event featured more than just dancing. Attendees competed in a Swift trivia competition and an on-stage costume contest at midnight — the winner wore the all black lingerie outfit from the “Blank Space” music video.
Bryson Keel, a 23-year-old UF grad student, secured the trivia competition win by answering the question, “Who is Taylor Swift’s song ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ about?”
Of course he answered it was Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend who was 29 years old at the time of dating 20-year-old Taylor Swift.
Keel believes the entire “Red” album is about Gyllenhaal.
As a prize, he and his friend were invited to hop on stage to dance along to “I Wish I Could Fly.”
“The whole crowd was just singing along and dancing along with everything that I was doing,and it was so much fun,” Keel said.
Keel dressed up in an all-black outfit and accessorized with black rings to pay homage to “Reputation,” his favorite Taylor Swift era. That 2017 album was Swift’s last concert tour before the COVID-19 pandemic. Keel sees it as the era Swift could do whatever she wanted.
The night culminated when the enthusiastic crowd screamed at the top of their lungs, “F*** Jake,” during the almost 15-minute screening of 2021 “All Too Well: The Short Film.”
The chant referred to the alleged inspiration for the song, Jake Gyllenhaal.
During the showing of “All Too Well,” passionate fans held up a replica red scarf from the music video, which symbolized an alleged scarf Taylor left at Jake's sister's house during their relationship.
For Gibson and Phillips, the CEO and chief marketing officer of Le Petite Fete, the event at The Wooly was inspired by their own love of Taylor Swift. After being fans of the singer since her first album, self titled “Taylor Swift,” Gibson and Phillips believe that the breadth of Swift’s discography has something for everyone to enjoy.
“There truly is like a song for pretty much every season of your life. And as you grow, like your love for the songs to grow, and it seems like something that a lot of people can relate to,” Gibson said.
The next Le Petite Fete dance party in Gainesville will be “Swift & Sour: A Taylor and Olivia Inspired Dance Party.” The event will play discographies of both Olivia Rodrigo and Swift, which will be at 9 p.m. on Mar. 31.
Contact Alexis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Alexis_Carson99.
Alexis Carson is a third-year journalism major and staff writer with the Avenue. In her free time, she loves watching horror movies and going to concerts.