Blank Space: Post-Concert Amnesia Phenomenon Haunts Taylor Swift Fans

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Taylor Swift performing on stage during her 2023 Eras concert tour

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If a pop music icon shatters box office records on a summer-long stadium tour but no one can remember it, did it really happen? 

If you ask any friendship bracelet-wearing devotee of Taylor Swift, they will adamantly confirm that it most certainly did, and they can even supply you with the cellphone video to prove it.  

However, many of the devoted “Swifties” have since reported that most of their heavily anticipated concert experience has been lost, as they have found it difficult to recall many of its details.

Premier Health Now spoke with Clinical Neuropsychologist Fadi Tayim, PhD, to better understand this curious phenomenon some are referring to as “post Eras-Tour amnesia.”

Hold on to the Memories

As it turns out, this seemingly unique form of forgetfulness is rather common, but it has received significant attention because of the thousands of people who experienced it.  

“Forgetting the details of a highly anticipated event like a concert might feel confusing and even frustrating, but it’s a fairly common way that our brains often respond when they are excited or overwhelmed by outside stimuli,” says Dr. Tayim.

Dr. Tayim explains that this type of so-called amnesia seems to be most common when couples look back over the experience of their wedding day. Though one may recall certain moments with absolute clarity, large segments of such a joyful and emotional experience can seem to vanish like so many champagne bubbles.

“Our brains naturally shift into a kind of ‘fight or flight’ mode to help us process what is happening around us during moments like a concert, wedding, or the birth of a child,” says Dr. Tayim.  “Your brain is on high-alert and it’s trying to determine if what’s taking place is a threat or an exciting moment to be enjoyed. When that happens, it can get overwhelmed and it leaves little room for the memory once the event has ended.”

Massive crowds, stereophonic sound, lights, pyrotechnics, and one’s own heightened sense of expectation can create a dizzying mixture that might feel sweetly euphoric but melts away like cotton candy once the last note has been played.

Despite our brain’s sometimes peculiar and even frustrating response to these situations, Dr. Tayim says that not all is lost.

“Pleasant memories can often continue to make their way to the surface over time, as you look back at a picture or video,” says Dr. Tayim. “Understanding how our brains operate should also cause us to pause in the moment to appreciate just how special it truly is.” 

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