While many details surrounding Taylor Swift’s feverishly anticipated Eras Tour remain obscured just days before Friday’s monstrous kickoff in Arizona, there’s at least one aspect fans should count on: There will be special guests.
Since the Speak Now Tour in 2011, Swift has established herself as the ultimate “sharing is caring” mega-headliner, welcoming a long list of artists — newcomers and icons alike — to her sprawling stages. The guest list from her 1989 tour alone was well over three dozen acts long.
But who’s most likely to appear over the next few months? As Swift has made new friends, forged new collaborations and released a heaping pile of music since the Reputation Tour in 2018 (her last roadshow), the possibilities for surprise guests are nearly endless.
We can still speculate, however! These are our best guesses for who’ll be waiting in the wings — and in which cities some may pop up — broken down into three categories:
Should Happen: The duets that feel most likely and maintain some precedent or clear link, where Swift would be remiss to not make it happen.
Could Happen: Educated guesses, but still slightly wishful thinking — based on recent trends, friendships, influences and past encounters, even if there isn’t exactly precedent.
Break the Internet Moments: The once-in-a-lifetime sort of pairings with fellow icons, which would go instantly viral and help to define the Eras Tour as the unforgettable pop culture phenomenon it’s likely to become regardless.
NOTE: Our picks do not include any scheduled Eras Tour openers, as those features feel a bit too obvious. And we’ve only selected musicians here, though we wouldn’t mind seeing Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds trot out for a dance party.
Lana Del Rey
Why It Should Happen: How Swift and Del Rey have never shared a stage is rather absurd — or at least, a statistical anomaly at this point. But their long-awaited duet should finally go down this year, as Del Rey is featured as a performer and co-writer on Midnights’ sultry slow-burn “Snow on the Beach.” We’d love to see the two pals — pillars of the Jack Antonoff superfriends club — play the new song, then fade into something from Del Rey: “Summertime Sadness” or “Young and Beautiful” would be epic, sure, but some smoldering piece of her new opus “A&W” might be more likely. And considering Del Rey’s classic Hollywood aesthetic, this would have to happen at one of the California shows, right? Probably!
Why It Should Happen: Like it or not, Swifties, there’s a good chance Swift’s less-than-beloved Lover lead single “ME!” is on tap for this tour, and when she plays the sprawling pop jam just outside Las Vegas later this month, we’re betting on Panic! At the Disco frontman (and Vegas native) Brendon Urie popping up to sing his verse. It’ll be like the 2019 Billboard Music Awards all over again — though Urie probably won’t descend from the sky on a wire. If he sticks around for an emo-tastic “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” all will be forgiven.
Why It Should Happen: Fans surely recall Swift surprising a Bon Iver crowd in London last October when she emerged to perform “Exile,” her cinematic duet with Justin Vernon off 2020’s Folklore, live for the first time. Well, it’s time Vernon returned the favor. Those doleful piano plinks will reveal what’s to come — maybe in Minneapolis, as Vernon’s Wisconsin home isn’t far.
Matt Healy of The 1975
Why It Should Happen: Again, Swifties have committed to memory Taylor as a surprise guest in January, once more in London, shocking an audience during a performance by The 1975. She jammed out the band’s early single “The City” and then premiered her latest smash “Anti-Hero” live (for the first time!) to manic cheers. Judging by the shrieks in the clips, it sure sounds like there’s plenty of fan overlap, so how about Matty Healy saunters out and they either redo “The City” or something bigger and brighter, like “The Sound” or “Chocolate”? Fans on both sides of the pond would be eternally jealous.
Why It Should Happen: This one’s a given, especially as Sheeran will be criss-crossing the U.S. at the same time, touring many of the same stadiums. Surely there will be a day off where Ed’s close enough to swing by for a duet with his old pal Taylor. We’d love to see them break out “Run,” the previously unreleased tune brought back from the Red (Taylor’s Version) vault in 2021, which they’ve never performed publicly before. Swifties and Sheerios unite to manifest this moment! (Though we’d take an “Everything Has Changed” throwback, too.)
Why It Should Happen: Another no-brainer. They’re best friends, of course, and Gomez was a special guest on the Reputation, 1989 and Speak Now tours. And as Selena hasn’t toured on her two most recent albums, this would be a real thrill for fans — especially if they did it in Gomez’s home state of Texas. Keep an eye out, Arlington attendees! What would they sing? How about a “Lose You to Love Me” team-up? Chills!
Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner
Why It Should Happen: Who else has been dying for a recreation of Swift’s ethereal and folksy 2021 Grammys medley, where she performed snippets of “Cardigan” and “August” off Folklore (which won Album of the Year that night) and “Willow” off Evermore? Well, how about an expansion on the theme, with collaborators Antonoff and Dessner strolling out for an acoustic trio mini-set, with pieces of all those songs plus some newbies: We’re talking “August,” “Betty,” “Champagne Problems” … oh the cottage-core calamity! MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey would make sense here as Antonoff lives in New York and is a prideful Jersey guy.
Why It Could Happen: Didn’t it feel for a while like Rodrigo, whose heartsleeve songwriting style is so heavily influenced by Swift, was destined to open Taylor’s next tour? Well, that didn’t happen, but Olivia is still due for a premiere duet on stage with Swift. If they were to sing one of Taylor’s tunes together, the possibilities are endless as Rodrigo has posted loads of clips of her scream-singing to “…Ready For It,” “Better than Revenge,” “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and more. But she’d surely stay out for a monster singalong to “Driver’s License” or rocking rendition of “Good 4 U” — give ‘em both an electric guitar!
Why It Could Happen: Carpenter is known as a ride-or-die Swiftie — she was covering “Picture to Burn” on YouTube when she was 10 years old. Now that the ex-Disney star and Taylor are buddies in real life — note the loving head pat at the American Music Awards last fall — it feels like a matter of time until Carpenter trots out to play her new hit “Nonsense.” Maybe she comes out at the Philly show; she’s from nearby Bucks County, not so far from Swift’s childhood home.
Why It Could Happen: Swift has always been a benevolent headliner, giving space for new and breakthrough artists to open her shows — and the Eras Tour will be no different, with new “sad girl” stars Phoebe Bridgers and Gracie Abrams appearing on multiple dates. Who’s missing from that equation, you ask? It’s the ascendant singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine, whose viral smash “Ceilings” has commandeered TikTok for the last two months. As we suspect fan overlap between Lizzy and Taylor is sizable, a mammoth duet — maybe with Taylor pretending to do the TikTok trend, running manically across the stage as she sings — would be very cool. Again, Philadelphia might be the spot, as McAlpine hails from the Philly suburbs.
Why It Could Happen: We know from this year’s Grammy afterparty photos and Fletcher’s own account that Swift and the new queer-pop favorite have hung out quite a bunch, and Swift is an admirer of Fletcher’s songwriting style. So it would be extremely cool to see Fletcher, a Jersey girl, pop up at MetLife Stadium for a song. Her anthemic new bangers “Becky’s so Hot” or “Her Body Is Bible” would be incredible in the stadium setting.
Why It Could Happen: “I wish she was my sister.” That was Swift on the 1989 tour in 2015, introducing Ballerini to the Nashville crowd for a surprise appearance and performance of Kelsea’s “Love Me Like You Mean It.” As the duo, who are cut from much of the same country-pop cloth, have remained friends — note those same Grammys afterparty pics — it could be time for a reunion, perhaps in Nashville again. Something from Ballerini’s new EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat would make sense; “Mountain With a View” certainly has a Swift Red-era heartbreak vibe.
Why It Could Happen: Since Taylor went through all the trouble of making a high-budget music video for “I Bet You Think About Me,” you better believe she’ll be playing the Red (Taylor’s Version) vault track at some point on this tour. And it would make sense to get the song’s featured vocalist Stapleton to come out for a smoky live collaboration. Stapleton could stick around for “Tennessee Whiskey,” too. Again, Nashville would make sense, though her Cincinnati dates are just over the border from Stapleton’s native Kentucky.
Why It Could Happen: The Taylor-Nicki bond runs deep: Fans will recall the pair opening the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards together, and Swift singing along to “Super Bass” at the 2022 ceremony. But how about when Taylor brought Nicki out in Los Angeles in 2011 on the Speak Now Tour, where they performed the smash side by side? We love a good Taylor hip-hop moment and we’re ready for a reunion. The two are clearly still buddies — they were spotted together at the VMAs afterparty in August — so let’s make it happen!
Why It Would Break the Internet: Let’s be real: The Eras Tour will likely expand to include at least one London show at some point, considering all of Swift’s tours have played the city and she now spends loads of time there with British beau Joe Alwyn. And when Taylor crosses the pond, we’re betting she brings out Paul McCartney. Why? Because Sir Paul planned to bring Swift out during 2020’s Glastonbury festival to play “Shake It Off” — but the pandemic robbed us of that glorious moment. So it’s time the pair resolved some unfinished business.
Why It Would Break the Internet: When Swift inducted King into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, she called the legend “the greatest songwriter of all time,” before performing an impassioned solo rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” King later called Swift her “professional granddaughter.” So how cool would it be if King emerged from retirement for a duet on the same ballad? All those patient moms in the crowd would love it!
Why It Would Break the Internet: If you caught the MTV Video Music Awards last August — you know, the ceremony where Swift announced Midnights — you may recall Taylor dancing and singing along to BLACKPINK’s “Pink Venom,” proving her fandom of the K-Pop powerhouse. What if she took it a step further, and welcomed Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé to the stage to sing “Pink Venom” together? One of the nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles would be fitting, considering the group is headlining Coachella this spring — let’s hope they stick around for an other-worldly moment. If Taylor officially enters K-Pop standom, it’s all over.
Why It Would Break the Internet: Taylor and Miley haven’t sung live together since the 2009 Grammy Awards. So it sounds like it’s time for a reunion! It’d be infinitely cool for Cyrus to pop up in Nashville or L.A. or her native Texas to see them return to their “Fifteen” Fearless duet nearly 15 years later. Then Cyrus would of course break into “Flowers,” the biggest song of 2023 so far, as fans belt along in elation. Any perceived beef about Cyrus not wanting to be Swift’s “squad” is long in the rearview.
Why It Would Break the Internet: If there’s any city where Swift is most likely to have a guest every night, it has to be Nashville. And what better way to commemorate her veritable homecoming than by welcoming the city’s Queen to the stage for their first-ever duet? This is another one: How have Taylor and Dolly never publicly sang together? Anyway, as Miley seems to have “Jolene” on lock, Dolly taking the stage for “9 to 5” or a wildly impassioned “I Will Always Love You” would rock Nissan Stadium to its core and send country music fans into a coma.
Why It Would Break the Internet: Imagine Swift is in the Lover segment of her show and she begins the album’s playful opening track “I Forgot That You Existed.” The first verse reaches the line “In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah” — and the song cuts off. A second later, the intro to “In My Feelings” itself begins to bump and Drake trots out. “Kiki, do you love me?” It’s Lover meets Loverboy bedlam, with fans finally understanding why Drizzy posted a throwback photo of him and Taylor on social media last spring. It wasn’t a new collaboration, it was this moment all along!
Why It Would Break the Internet: We’re basically writing fan fiction at this point — but after Swift stood up to support Styles as he accepted his Album of the Year Grammy Award last month, it’s not so farfetched that the two could reconvene for a moment on stage. Just freaking picture it: Taylor is finishing her 1989 electro-banger “Out of the Woods,” a track purportedly about Styles, and Harry ambles out to duet on the final verse. Then they do “As It Was” together and 60,000 lives are changed forever. Maybe they pull this off at one of the MetLife Stadium shows — her defacto New York City gigs, where Styles seems to perform more than Billy Joel.