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30th May 2024

Homeless forced out of Edinburgh to make way for Taylor Swift fans

Ryan Price

Over 200,000 people are set to descend on Murrayfield stadium next month to watch the star.

Hundreds of Edinburgh’s homeless population are being forced to seek accommodation outside of the city when Taylor Swift brings her Eras tour to the Scottish capital next week.

Shelter Scotland, one of the leading homeless charities in the country, has alleged that the Edinburgh City Council are sending rough sleepers to neighbouring towns during the three nights that Swift is set to play at Murrayfield, in order to free up hotel rooms for fans flocking to the city.

Swift will play three nights from 7-9 June and staff from Shelter Scotland have said that a number of people it supports have been sent by taxi to Aberdeen and Glasgow in order to create hotel availability. They also claimed that one person was offered transport to Newcastle.

Budget hotels in the city such as Travelodge and Premier Inn have already been booked out for that weekend, with prices for a one-night stay outside of the city starting at $420.

The European leg of Swift’s Eras tour has already gotten off to a controversial start.

Large swathes of fans have been calling for the Blank Space singer to ‘speak out’ on the conflict in Gaza, with pro-Palestine concertgoers taking flags and placards to her shows in Madrid and Lisbon.

Also at the Lisbon show, fans tore down a fence after waiting for hours in the blistering heat to enter the Estádio da Luz stadium.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson called it ”a blatant injustice” that people without homes find themselves ”in direct competition” with tourists.

”Our frontline services are already seeing people in need of a bed tonight being told their only option is to leave the city. A family going through the trauma of homelessness in Edinburgh should not have to move miles from their job, school, and community to find emergency accommodation,” Ms Watson said.

Edinburgh City Council, on the other hand, told the BBC it was ”absolutely not” moving tenants out of temporary accommodation to make way for Taylor Swift fans.

The council declared a housing emergency last November, citing record homelessness figures, a severe shortage of social rented homes and spiralling private rental costs.

It said the use of tourist accommodation for homeless households was a symptom of that housing emergency.

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