Some of Taylor Swift’s First Fans Reunite at CMA Fest
Along with thousands of other Country Music fans, four young women have been exploring Downtown Nashville since they arrived in the city on Monday, June 6. They had autographs signed by artists at Fan Fair Hall and went to the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Tournament on Saturday morning.
But on Sunday, the final day of the Festival, at 8:30 AM, they were camped outside the ramp that descends into Level 1 of LP Field, where the talent’s trucks pull in to set up for the evening concerts, with only one mission: to reconnect with their old friend, Taylor Swift.
Christy Harrison, 23, from Charleston, S.C.; LeAnn Pierce, 19, from Snow Hill, N.C.; Lindsey Sauter, also 19, from Cincinnati, Ohio; and Maggie Noonan, a 21-year-old from Burlington, Iowa, said they discovered Swift before anyone else.
“In 2006, we were there for her when she was starting out. We’d go to all the concerts. We met basically online through fan sites, and we just all became close,” said Pierce, who found Swift’s music after watching GAC’s “Shortcuts,” a documentary about the rising Country Music star.
“When I saw that, I went online right away and looked her up, and I loved her music, so I started a little fan site for her. It’s her first fan site,” Pierce said proudly.
The MySpace site, “Taylor Fans Unite,” didn’t just unite the four friends with each other—it united them with Swift herself.
“In the beginning she was just on MySpace to talk to her fans,” Harrison said.
“She’d comment us and message us, and it was like a friendship,” Sauter added. “Whenever she’d say something to us on MySpace or whatever, she’d put, ‘Love, love, love T.’”
That slogan—“Love, Love, Love”—is written across Pierce’s red T-shirt and on the matching leather wristbands three of the young women are wearing.
“It’s her signature thing. She would always do that. These are old bracelets, like, they don’t even make them anymore, but they’re from the very beginning,” Pierce said.
Millions of fans around the world now feel the same connection with the 21-year-old superstar, which the friends attribute to Swift’s powerful lyrics. “Her writing is just amazing. I know she didn’t even know that she would connect with this many people. It’s just unreal how she can write stories about my life,” said Pierce.
The young women said it feels strange to be camped out and waiting to see Swift, but they didn’t have much choice.
“It’s gotten so crazy now, this is the only way to get her attention,” said Pierce, motioning to the brightly colored sign they hung over the guardrail. The poster reads “T-Swift Oldies: Est. 2006,” and is decorated with flashing lights and pictures of the young women with Swift early in her career.
A second poster hanging nearby features lyrics to a song Swift used to cover, Rihanna’s “Umbrella:” “Told you I’ll be here forever/Said I’ll always be your friend/Took an oath, I’m a’stick it out to the end.”