How Castlereagh resident Archie scored a slice of Swiftory

Castlereagh resident Archie Wilson with the famous hat on Tuesday. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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Nine-year-old Archie Wilson has been a huge Taylor Swift fan for years, naming ‘Reputation’ as his favourite era. But, after last weekend, he’ll always have a soft spot for the song ‘22’.

When the calendar rolled over to Saturday, February 24, most Swifties who would be attending night two of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour already had outfits laid out, friendship bracelets made, and tickets purchased.

But, this wasn’t the case for Wilson.

“Mum had been trying to get tickets for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, she’d been trying for five hours a day,” he said.

Archie Wilson. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Luckily, and against all odds, mum Briohny Wilson managed to snag some $79 tickets just hours before the show, after refreshing the Ticketek site in hopes of a final release.

“We just ran around the house screaming, ‘We’re going to Taylor Swift!’,” he said.

But, with such a quick turnaround, Archie and his family had to get dressed and go, with the PAWS student choosing his now-iconic Broadway jazz solo costume, ‘bejewelled’ by Briohny.

His dad then drove them from their home in Castlereagh all the way to Accor Stadium so that they’d make it in time. It was on this trip that Briohny realised what tickets she’d bought – seats on the floor, right by the VIP tent.

According to Archie, he spent the first half of the show trading friendship bracelets with Hollywood stars Rebel Wilson and Toni Collette, and dancing away in his seat until ‘Long Live’, when everything changed.

“I was just living my best life, dancing and having fun until someone tapped me on the shoulder and took me to the front,” he said.

Archie with Taylor Swift’s guitar pick. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Though he didn’t realise it at the time, Archie would soon be receiving the ‘22’ hat – a memento that Swift gives out to a fan after wearing it during the song ‘22’ at every show on The Eras Tour.

Many recipients are chosen by Swift and her team in advance, but having only scored tickets the day of, Briohny said Archie’s dancing must have had something to do with it.

“I think his dancing may have gotten the attention of someone in the VIP tent. Everyone loved him, and we think they may have had something to do with it, but who knows!” she said.

Though he said he didn’t give her a friendship bracelet, Archie said that the interaction was crazy and unforgettable.

“I’m always just thinking, I met Taylor Swift, I got her hat, I hugged her!” he said.

And it was just as crazy for Briohny, who was watching on.

“It was so surreal, I was a blubbering mess,” she said.

The hat exchange has been well documented on social media, with videos of Archie travelling far and wide, and garnering millions of views on TikTok.

For the two, the response has been completely unprecedented.

“We didn’t expect it to be that big considering the most views any of my TikToks had ever had was like 2000, and this video is currently at about 5.6 million,” she said.

“Everyone’s saying they envisage him being one of her dancers!”

Thankfully, Briohny said it has also been overwhelmingly positive, especially from one of Swift’s current dancers, Kameron Saunders.

Journalist Cassidy Pearce borrows the Taylor Swift hat. It was promptly returned! Photo: Melinda Jane.

“Kam, her dancer, shared a couple of his videos on TikTok, and before that he’d shared an Instagram story just saying how amazing he was, and telling him not to let his sparkle dull,” she said.

Now that he’s taken it just about everywhere, including to school and his dance studio, Archie has special plans for the ‘22’ hat, ensuring that it and the signature inside will be protected.

“I’m going to put it on the top shelf of my cabinet with the pick and the newspapers, so it’s all together,” he said.

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