Racing lovers may be thrilled at the prospect of welcoming the world’s biggest pop star to the Melbourne Cup stage this year, but some fans of the singer are far from happy.
Victoria Racing Club managed to secure Taylor to perform two songs off her new album Lover, ahead of the race that stops a nation, but the Shake it Off star’s decision has stopped a number of fans in their tracks.
The singer told promoter Michael Gudinski she ‘can’t wait’ to perform at the event, and that she’s ‘heard so much about it’ - but it seems she may not have heard of the controversy that’s surrounded the race in recent years.
Her fans, as it turns out, have.
Some of her normally die-hard supporters flooded Twitter this morning with furious, and disappointed reactions to the singer’s decision to take part in the event.
Melbourne Cup has become notorious among animal rights activists, after the spate of horse deaths at the event in recent years.
Last year, Irish horse The Cliffsofmoher was put down after falling early on in the race, sparking ongoing protests, while the previous year, horse Regal Monarch was euthanised after a fall on Melbourne Cup day, following the deaths of Red Cadeaux in 2015, Admire Rakti and Araldo in 2014, and Verema in 2013 after they each sustained injuries on the race day.
In the wake of The Cliffsofmoher’s death, Racing Victoria said, “This was an unfortunate incident that happens infrequently, with Victoria having one of the best safety records in world racing”.
Victoria Racing has been contacted for comment on the current controversy.
Furious fans call for boycott on Twitter
Fans are calling on the singer to boycott the race
“Dear Taylor Swift, if you are seeing this, cancel your performance at the Melbourne Cup in an instant,” one fan challenged the star. “This event promotes animal cruelty.”
those horses were shot due to injuries they received as a result of being in the race. not by accident. shot on purpose. if you support taylor performing at the melbourne cup you’re saying that’s okay— 𝐯𝐚𝐥 (@deadgrottty) September 11, 2019
“The Melbourne Cup is a pretty excellent example of animal abuse - usually one horse dies every year or so,” Jemima Skelley wrote.
“I personally think it’s a terrible event that Australians should stop celebrating so I’m upset that Taylor is now basically endorsing it.”
“PLEASE do not do the Melbourne Cup,” another begged.
Her only Australian performance
Some were seriously upset that the singer’s only Australian performance would be in Flemington Racecourse’s Mounting Yard, meaning those opposed would have to choose between their distaste for the event, and their desire to see Taylor perform.
taylor sweetie do not be excited about the melbourne cup horses literally die in that race every year make a concert for your fans instead luv— jacqui (@redhaircIassic) September 11, 2019
“I'm honestly really disappointed, I'll never support the Melbourne Cup I wish she was performing somewhere else in Melbourne,” another fan wrote.
Gigi Hadid paved the way
The event’s controversy is not confined to Australian borders either, in 2014 supermodel Gigi Hadid attended the event but left as soon as she heard one of the racers, Admire Rakti, was put down following the race.
The model posted her sadness over the news to social media, where it sparked a flurry of criticism, and Taylor is the most high profile act they have managed to secure since.
Others get excited
Not all Swifties were upset however, many couldn’t contain their excitement at the news, and counteracted the criticism with an outpouring of support.
“So exited! Have just bought tickets to the Melbourne Cup...which I never go to, so this is a hugely SPECIAL occasion!” one excited fan wrote.
“Looks like I’m heading to Melbourne Cup just to see @taylorswift13,” another agreed.
Others eschewed their distaste for the event, and called it a compromise.
SOOOOOO I HATE MYSELF FOR SUPPORTING THE MELBOURNE CUP when I’m always the one talking smack about it BUT I SEE TAYLOR SWIFT IN NOVEMBER NOW UMMM HEEEELLLLOOOOOO I’m ready I’m ready I’m ready pic.twitter.com/BO3A3dWUYO— hey_itsclauds🦋 (@HItsclauds) September 11, 2019
The singer has not yet commented on the backlash, but suffice it to say some are calling it Trouble, while others are arguing You Need to Calm Down.
Either way, we’re unsure how exactly Taylor and her team are going to shake this one off.
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