How much did Seattle Swifties ‘Shake It Off’? Enough to cause earthquake-like activity

Taylor Swift stands on a stage in a bejeweled bodysuit and looks to her right with a mic in her hand
Taylor Swift thanked her Seattle fans for “jumping, dancing, singing at the top of your lungs.”
(George Walker IV / Associated Press)

Seattle Swifites were not playing around when they got down to Taylor Swift’s sick beats last week.

Enthusiastic attendees who saw the “Cruel Summer” artist at Lumen Field on July 22 and 23 reportedly danced, jumped and shook so much that a nearby seismometer equated the activity to a 2.3-magnitude earthquake, the Seattle Times reported.

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a seismologist and professor at the Western Washington University, said Swift’s 3½-hour gigs at Lumen Field doubled the seismic activity of the thrilling NFL game known as “Beast Quake.” In 2011, Seattle Seahawks fans’ celebration of Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown against the New Orleans Saints clocked activity equivalent to a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake.


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As a result, Caplan-Auerbach and other local seismologists have started combing through data and Swift’s Lumen Field set lists to figure out whether certain songs contribute to more seismic activity than others.

“How do we compare, say, a really danceable song with maybe a ballad? Do we see a difference in energy?” Caplan-Auerbach told the Seattle Times.

Swift kicked off her Eras tour in March, playing to myriad sold-out crowds. The Grammy Award winner comes to Northern California on Friday for two weekend shows at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. In August, she will perform at SoFi Stadium for six nights.

To date, the U.S. Geological Survey has registered two relatively harmless earthquakes in Southern California for the month of July. But with Swift coming to town, it’s possible that more SoCal seismic activity is on tap.

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USGS spokesman Paul Laustsen told The Times in an email Friday that seismic sensors are sensitive and can pick up activity from a wide range of sources — natural or human-made. Laustsen also said it’s “highly unlikely that audiences would trigger an earthquake.”

Despite that, he said everyone, including concertgoers, should always be prepared for a natural disaster.


“Earthquakes can happen at anytime, and knowing what to do in any situation you are in, is wise,” Laustsen said.

In other words, always have that ShakeAlert handy while you “Shake It Off.”