What Is Post-Concert Amnesia And Why Are Taylor Swift Fans Experiencing It?

Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket and going to see your favorite artist live in concert, only to not remember much of the night. That is what multiple Taylor Swift fans are reporting after attending her Eras Tour. Jenna Tocatlian, who saw Swift during her Massachusetts stop, told Time Magazine that if it were not for her cell phone footage of the night, she may not recall the concert at all.

"Post-concert amnesia is real," she stated, and she is not alone. Other Swifties shared similar sentiments about not being able to recall much of the show. While this phenomenon does seem a bit troubling, experts say it's nothing to worry about. In fact, "post-concert amnesia," as it has been dubbed by concert-goers, is a normal occurrence that many will experience during moments of excitement such as a live show. And despite some concern, this does not only affect Swift's loyal fanbase.

Post-concert amnesia may result from overexcitement

Memory experts have pointed out that post-concert amnesia doesn't only apply to live shows. Psychology professor Ewan McNay explained the condition can happen to anyone at any place or point in time where they are experiencing a highly emotional moment. "Too much excitement pushes you over the edge in terms of memory formation, and you're unable to make memories," McNay explained to Time Magazine

Doctor and music psychology lecturer Michelle Phillips agreed that post-concert amnesia is not a major concern. In speaking with BBC, Phillips explained that while this occurrence may block certain moments, it won't stop an attendee from remembering the concert as a whole.

"It's likely to be one of the things they remember attending for the rest of their lives. It's simply that they encode some aspects of the event in memory, and not others," she stated. Phillips also pointed out that in moments of such extreme excitement, attendees could feel as if time has moved quickly, not allowing them to process everything. This is also normal considering that most concerts of today are filled with heavily produced stages, which will also lead to overstimulation.

Trying to stay calm may help preserve the memories

Though it may be hard to do while watching Taylor Swift perform "Shake It Off," experts recommend trying to remain calm throughout the concert. State University of New York at Albany professor Ewan McNay suggests placing yourself in a "semi-meditative state" during the performance. This is a mental strategy that can be achieved by slowing down breathing or even practicing some meditation before going to the show, according to Healthline. Another way to retain more of the evening is to stand still for most of the concert. Since the brain monitors body movement, screaming and dancing during the show can signal that you're scared or overexcited, which delays memory retention. By standing in one spot and moving less, the brain won't get too worked up, which will help you recollect all the amazing moments. However, this means you'll likely enjoy the concert less.

Ultimately, shows are meant to be enjoyed. If you must refrain from singing and dancing, your memory of the night may be stronger, though the experience may not be as satisfying. Even the experts believe it's totally acceptable to record what you can on your phone and live in the moment.